Miss Brill's Daydreams: A Psychoanalysis

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Miss Brill’s Daydreams: A Psychoanalysis “Miss Brill” is a short story in which the author, Katherine Mansfield, introduces and develops the main character by allowing the reader to view Miss Brill through her introspection and daydreams. This omniscient point of view the narrator provides helps the reader feel intimate with the character of Miss Brill, yet Mansfield manages to hold her at a mysterious distance. This may be because Miss Brill is not honest with herself about reality. For the majority, daydreaming is a common and even healthy mental process. Some people, however, use daydreaming to cope with and distance themselves from reality. Mansfield’s character, Miss Brill, seems to do just this. She may be suffering from what is known…show more content…
In the article, “Maladaptive Daydreaming: A Qualitative Inquiry,” Eli Somer makes it possible to understand the theme of daydreaming in Katherine Mansfield’s short story “Miss Brill” by examining the functions of daydreaming such as escapism from hard realities, self soothing attributes, and ways in which…show more content…
Mansfield’s theme of daydreaming reflects that Miss Brill is hiding from her feelings, is attempting to cope, yet is causing herself distress by distancing herself from reality. Daydreaming is common and often times healthy. Somers shares a colleagues report that 96 per cent of American adults daydream daily. (Somers 198) However, the character of Miss Brill uses it in such a way that she is not engaging with reality. This is an example of maladaptive daydreaming and can help the reader understand the development of the character as well as her underlying sadness and how and why she copes with it the way she does. Mansfield may leave her readers more aware of the necessity to engage with their surrounding environment. Doing so provides the ability to cope with adverse situations and reality

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