How old is Miss Brill? What are her circumstances? Why does she listen in on conversations?

How old is Miss Brill?  What are her circumstances?  Why does she listen in on conversations?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Miss Brill is an older, single woman living in France. She is very poor, eking out an existence teaching English to French pupils and reading to an old, invalid man.

Miss Brill lives a tiny, dark room. She spends every Sunday in the Jardins Publiques because she can go there for free. It gets her out of being all alone in her stuffy room. She can sit on a bench, watch the people go by, listen to conversations, and hear the band play. Being there gives her a sense of belonging.

Miss Brill listens in on conversations because she is so lonely and isolated. She doesn't appear to have any friends. She must have once been more prosperous, because she has her ancient fox fur and enough education to be a teacher, but has now fallen on hard times.

The story shows the fate of a poor, isolated, elderly single woman who is trying to keep up a brave front but finds it increasingly difficult to do so.

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Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Miss Brill is likely fairly elderly.  She seems not to be in the best of health, as after walking to the...

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