Katherine Mansfield

Miss Brill

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Miss Brill Essay Topics

1. Miss Brill never speaks in this short story. What effect does this have on how you perceive her character? She seems to live her life in her head, and the reader hears the thoughts that she carefully chooses to reveal, through Mansfield’s use of a limited third-person point of view. Why do you think that Miss Brill doesn’t speak to any of the people in the park? Explain in terms of Miss Brill’s longing for connection with others.

2. What do the symbols of the fur necklet, the red eiderdown, and the honey-cake reveal about Miss Brill’s character? Relate her character to a major theme of this short story in your explanation.

3. Is Miss Brill more of a spectator or an actor in life? What effect does each role have on her character? Consider the way she occupies both of these roles throughout the short story, particularly in terms…

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