Miss Brill Essay

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In the following essay, Hull analyzes the principal theme of "Miss Brill," which he states is estrangement from love, and which Mansfield stated was her primary reason for writing the story.

The principal theme of Katherine Mansfield's "Miss Bnir' is estrangement. Miss Mansfield gives in this story a significant look, through the eyes of Miss Brill, a look short and startling and at once full of pity, at the world that the lonely woman inhabits. Indeed, Miss Brill's world is more than lonely; it is also an existential world in which she finds herself in complete solitude estranged from God, man, and, more importantly, from herself. Exphcators of the story have wholly or partly ignored the theme of estrangement that I feel is the major theme.

Two passages from Miss Mansfield's letters to John Middleton Murry present evidence for her purpose in writing "Miss Brill." "One writes (one...

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This section contains 1,191 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Miss Brill Study Guide
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Miss Brill from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.