The Illusion of Youth

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Katherine Mansfield’s Miss. Brill written in 1920 is a short story a part of Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories. It is a short story about a middle-aged teacher, who finds joy in spending her Sunday afternoons, sitting in the park. At the park, she finds joy in observing others around her and pretending, they are all actors and actresses on a stage. Miss. Brill finds joy in the illusion that she creates at the park. She is a woman, who lives a very humdrum life and finds joy creating an unrealistic world, where she envisions herself as an actress. She uses illusion as not only an escape from her reality but also from herself. Miss. Brill creates an illusion in order to escape the reality that she is losing her youth.…show more content…
Brill out of the illusion, she has created. She is awakening to the reality that she is not a young fashionable woman but a middle-aged woman, holding onto an item from the days of her youth. After overhearing the girl’s comment, she returns home where she returns the fur to its box. She hears a cry after returning the item but she doesn’t acknowledge the cry comes from her. The acceptance that she has gotten older just like the fur is an inedibility that she denies because she doesn’t want to acknowledge that she is the one that made the cry. She tries to preserve the fur by keeping it in a like-new condition but she admits that the life has dim in “the little eyes” of the fur because she has to polish them in order to restore the life back. By keeping the fur in like-new condition, she also is keeping the vitality of life. Just like the fur, Miss Brill life lacks vitality but she receives it each time she takes the garment out and wears it on her Sunday afternoons to the park. She is a woman who lives an unfulfilled life, she finds that she receives fulfillment each time she chooses to dress-up in her fur and spend her afternoon at the park. It is there that her life is not only vital but becomes a play, inside her head. Mansfield described her as having “. . . felt a tingling in her hands and arms . . .” (Mansfield 1). She not only feels that her life is vital by her afternoons in the park but also she finds excitement. If she has to look
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