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By telling the story through the eyes of the protagonist, Mansfield is able to convey to the reader the protagonists loneliness and the lack of self-awareness.She offers no explanation as to the Miss Brills past, leaving it to the readers to draw their own conclusions.
From the beginning of the narrative it becomes apparent that Miss Brill is starving for warmth and companionship.
She tenderly caresses her fur as if it were a beloved pet when she rubbs the life into the dim little eyes (p.50) of the old fox boa.
In the beginning of this story, Miss Brill seems to be a part of the upper class and enjoys her Sunday afternoons in the Jardins Publiques.
However Miss Brill enjoys her time in the gardens for reasons that go beyond the casual conversation and social aspects of the Sunday gatherings.
The following essay was written by a student who wishes to remain anonymous.
(As we will shortly see, this reticence stems from modesty, not embarrassement! Discuss how the author's choice of a particular point of view helps communicate a central theme of the tale.
It is through her fur that she begins to understand what her life really is like, even though she wants to deny it.
Throughout the story readers are able to understand the loneliness that Miss Brill feels which makes it easier to understand why she lives her life in denial.
Her new self-awareness is brought about by disparaging remarks of the young lovers who refer to Miss Brill as that stupid old thing (p.52), and to her precious fur as a fried whiting (p.52). She is as old as the other park-goers, her fur is a pitiful necklet, and she foregoes her usual Sunday slice of honeycake.
In spite of her newly found self-awareness, Miss Brill still denies some of her own emotions when she thought she heard something crying (p.52) at the very end of the story.