Miss Brill Themes
Power of Creativity Miss Brill’s imagination allows her to combat off alienation and isolation as she seeks beauty, connection, and a sense of belonging and worth worldwide. For example, she turns her old fur necklet into a glamorous buddy, a “rogue” to share her experiences with. She transforms her Sundays in the park into experiences in which she has the ability to connect with others through eavesdropping on their discussions. Both her love for the natural charm of the park and her appreciation for music fuel her creativity and enable her to feel a sense of belonging.
The World is a Phase Echoing Shakespeare’s famous line, “All the world’s a phase,” Miss Brill imagines that she becomes a vital part of the world, something larger than herself and her simple life, during her Sundays in the park. She muses that all the people in the park are actors and starlets in an intricate social drama. In this method, she transcends her rather lonesome existence and feels linked to others. She believes that everybody has a part to play in the drama of life; this is a considerable style in Mansfield’s work. No matter how lonesome and separated someone’s life might appear to be from the outside, each person decides how to see his/her own life.
Miss Brill picks to see herself as a positive addition to her society, and her role as a significant and essential one, especially as the observer of the pleasure, appeal, nature, music and peace around her. Miss Brill’s internal drama reflects the happiness she receives from enjoying others and from eavesdropping on other’s lives. Miss Brill’s eager powers of observation and research study of human nature bring her both happiness and sorrow. On this particular Sunday, the gorgeous couple who sit down next to her are impolite, and with the conceit of youth and absence of compassion, rob Miss Brill for a minute of her popular confidence and pleasure.