Socialization In Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill

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Quite often, people that are living in a foreign country feel uncomfortable or insecure because of a potential language or cultural barrier. These people try to fit into society by finding a routine and using it to meet new people and explore their new home. Katherine Mansfield demonstrates not only how this idea works, but also how it can go wrong when a strong-minded person takes it on in her short story, Miss Brill. The title character, Miss Brill, is an shy, woman who teaches English in France. She goes to the park every Sunday to observe the daily activities of people around her and listen to a local band play in the rotunda. She does not say a lot to other people, but instead listens to their conversations and judges them in her head. Miss Brill is the type of woman who prefers isolation to socialization, which is partially due to the fact that she is in a new and unfamiliar environment. not putting in the effort to socialize with people around her.…show more content…
She is sitting on her bench when two young children, and boy and a girl, sit near her. She believes that in the play, they are the youthful hero and heroine that change the outcome drastically. She starts to eavesdrop on their conversation, but she ends up finding out the truth about herself and how she is seen by others. The young boy asks the girl, “Why does she come here at all-- who wants her?” (Mansfield 268) The girl responds by saying that “it’s her fu-fur which is so funny. It’s exactly like a fried whiting.” (Mansfield 268) This hurts Miss Brill’s feelings because her fox stole is something that makes her happy, and it upsets her when the girl makes fun of it. Miss Brill begins to realize that the way she has been treating people all day is hurtful when she finds out how other people feel about her. On her way home from the park, Miss Brill skips her weekly stop at the local bakery where she usually buys a slice of
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