In "Miss Brill," what does Miss Brill enjoy about her Sunday afternoons?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Miss Brill enjoys—or convinces herself she enjoys—her Sunday afternoons at the the Jardins Publiques. She can dress up for this outing, sit in what she calls her "special" seat on a park bench, and listen to the conversation of the people sitting next to her. She can also people watch, as couples and groups and children go by. The park outing is a chance to be outside and not sitting all alone in her small rented room.

As she watches the people on her bench this day, she decides that by coming every week, she is alike an actress taking part in a play. She thinks to herself:

How she loved sitting here, watching it all! It was like a play. It was exactly like a play.

Actually, she is a poor, lonely old woman who works as tutor and companion during the week and has nothing else to do on her Sundays off. The park is free, and as she walks home, she usually buys herself the "treat" of a slice of cake. She is like other old people she sees at the park, who come week after week. She calls them "funny," but realizes by the end of the story she is one of them. We could admire Miss Brill for bravely trying to make the best of her life.

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jilllessa eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Miss Brill enjoys going to the park on Sunday afternoons and watching people from a park bench.  She enjoys this activity because it gives her a feeling of connection to others despite the fact that no real connection occurs. 

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