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What is the setting of "Miss Brill"?

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frnber | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 11, 2010 at 9:44 AM via web

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What is the setting of "Miss Brill"?

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted April 11, 2010 at 9:48 AM (Answer #1)

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The story takes place in a park, the "Jardins Publiques," suggesting the setting is in a French city. It is a place where people stroll, where some people sit on public benches, and where some listen to the band playing its Sunday afternoon concert. It is evident that the city is quite a small place and along the coastline as the sea can be viewed from the park. And the town is quite small as the band playing during the weekend is the highlight of the town. The setting dramatically reinforces the isolation and solitariness of the protagonist.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 7, 2010 at 11:22 AM (Answer #1)

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The setting for Miss Brill is in France. In an unspecified town, Miss Brill goes to the Jardins Publiques. The means quite simply the Public Gardens. In the Jardins Publique, a band plays to which she goes to the gardens to hear with regularity, as they played louder on the day of the story than on the previous Sunday. In the garden, Miss Brill has a special bench from which she enjoys listening to the music and watching the other people in the park. On the day of the story, two other people are already seated on her special bench. She finds them a welcome addition and is only disappointed that they do speak.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 7, 2010 at 7:39 PM (Answer #2)

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The primary setting for Mansfield's short story is a park.  It is in this setting where Miss Brill freely interacts with both the people around her and the conception she has created of herself in her mind.  The band playing the music and the general atmosphere helps to bring to light the conception of herself in her mind, how she sees herself, and how she sees others see herself.  The park is where most of this action happens.  It is also the location where she hears the couple deride her and mock her fur stole. This helps her to go back to her apartment, the setting where the other critical event happens.  When she puts the stole back in its box, it is in this small and rather cramped place where she hears the stole speak back to her, reflecting that her own conception of self is still distorted, even after her experiences.

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