Katherine Mansfield

Miss Brill

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Miss Brill Important Quotes

1. “Although it was so brilliantly fine—the blue sky powdered with gold and great spots of light like white wine splashed over the Jardins Publiques—Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur.” (p. 1)

In the first line of the story, Mansfield establishes Miss Brill’s love of beauty through her detailed description of the sky. The story is told from Miss Brill’s perspective, though Mansfield does not allow the reader to hear all of Miss Brill’s thoughts. Purposefully, her character reveals only what she wants to, and the point of view helps to reinforce this element of Miss Brill’s character, as she edits her thoughts to remain essentially focused on the beauty and positive things in her life.

2. “The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip…” (p. 1)

Miss Brill’s talent for observing all the details of her surroundings indicates her keen mind and desire to absorb all she can through all of her senses during her outing in the park. These poetic, detailed descriptions are characteristic of Miss Brill.

3. “Dear little thing! It was nice to feel it again. She had taken it out of its box that afternoon, shaken out the moth-powder, giving it a good brush, and rubbed the life back into the dim little eyes. ‘What has been happening to me?’ said the sad little eyes.” (p.1)

Miss Brill’s fur is a symbol of her own state: well-preserved, taken out of moth-powder and brushed up for a good appearance at the park. Every Sunday, Miss Brill rubs the life back into herself. However, just as with the beautiful day with a chill in the air, the fur has sad eyes. Just below the surface of Miss Brill’s life lies sadness.

4. “Little rogue! Yes, she really felt like that about it. Little rogue biting its tail just by her left ear.” (p. 1)

In her loneliness, Miss Brill turns her fox fur into a companion with a personality. The fur is a friend and…

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