Describe the scene in which the action in Miss Brill occurs? 

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The scene in Miss Brill is extremely important to the story. Every Sunday, Miss Brill goes to a nearby park to people watch. She is an extremely lonely woman, yet is completely unaware of how sad she is. She escapes the "dark little rooms or even-even [cupboard]" (Mansfield) in which she lives.

To escape her loneliness, she goes to the park and watches other people. The setting is important because it is her escape and also helps her avoid the reality of her life. She sits on a bench and watches all of the people, judging them. "Other people sat on the benches and green chairs, but they were nearly always the same, Sunday after Sunday...and yet there was something funny about nearly all of them" (Mansfield). She sees the same people in this park every week, yet mocks them for being there weekly, and even calls them "funny" (Mansfield). Eventually two younger people mock her for being odd herself.

Another part of the scene that is important is that as she watches people, she sees that most of the people are with someone else. They are mostly couples, and those who are alone she seems to look down upon even though she herself is alone. In this way, the setting further suggests her loneliness.

Finally, there is the music being played on a stage. Miss Brill suddenly decides that she is part of a larger play, and this excites her. She feels part of something, and even thinks that:

"They were all on the stage. They weren't only the audience, not only looking on; they were all acting. Even she had a part and came every Sunday. No doubt somebody would have noticed if she hadn't been there; she was part of the performance after all." (Mansfield)

The setting creates happiness in Miss Brill when she thinks that it's all a play and people would notice if she were missing, yet it seems nobody would notice if she weren't there. This shows how the setting supports the fact that she is truly lonely.


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