What details can you infer about Miss Brill from the quote: "She had become really quite expert...talked round her"?

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When Miss Brill heads goes on her weekly outing to the park, she happily sits there on a bench, watching the world around her. As she does so, she starts to construct little scenarios in her mind in which the people passing by are bit players. In Miss Brill's mind,...

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When Miss Brill heads goes on her weekly outing to the park, she happily sits there on a bench, watching the world around her. As she does so, she starts to construct little scenarios in her mind in which the people passing by are bit players. In Miss Brill's mind, the park is a gigantic stage on which she enacts her own plays using the other visitors to the park as actors.

In order to make her fantasies work, Miss Brill has to make sure that she doesn't let on that she's earwigging other people's conversations, which form the basis of the "script" of this real-life human drama. The last thing she wants is for the spell to be broken: for her fantasy to become real. Miss Brill has therefore had to become rather adept at listening in on what other people are saying without giving the impression that she's doing so.

She's been doing this for so long, she's become quite the expert. But, as she soon discovers to her horror, there are limits to her expertise. So long as she can control those around her by fitting them into her little fantasy play, then its all well and good.

However, if the "actors" depart from the script, as the insensitive young couple do, then Miss Brill loses control, and her whole dream world comes crashing down. The "play" has ended, the fantasy destroyed, and so there's nothing left for the heartbroken Miss Brill to do than retreat back to the confines of her cramped little flat.

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The quote from "Miss Brill" is as follows:

She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn't listen, at sitting in other people's lives just for a minute while they talked round her.

We can infer from this that Miss Brill is isolated and lonely. She seemingly has no friends to visit and nobody to talk to, which is why she comes to the park by herself every Sunday. She is trying, we can imagine, to pretend she has companionship and a social life by eavesdropping on what other people are saying.

When she notes she has become quite expert at this, we can infer it means she has been doing this for a long time. This means she has been alone for some time.

She also wants to save face and not look lonely and needy, like some of the other older people she sees at the park. It is important to her pride that she not appear to be listening—to some degree, too, she is trying to hide the full extent of her loneliness, even from herself.

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The full passage is as follows:

She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn't listen, at sitting in other people's lives just for a minute while they talked round her.

This statement shows how Miss Brill has come to believe that she stands apart from her social context and has complete control and mastery of all that is occuring around her. She lives alone, and this feeling is the way she has turned her solitary life into something valuable and special. She has even developed the illusion that she is a sort of director or conductor and that everything she sees is an elaborate play or show that is being put on for her benefit. This is why the criticism of the young couple is so shattering -- it reveals brutally to her that they consider her a tiresome and despicable nuisance, someone who spoils the "play" by her presence, rather than a detached master or conductor.

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