Miss Brill Setting

What is the setting of "Miss Brill"?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The setting of a story is always the combination of two elements:  place and time.  "Miss Brill" is no exception; therefore, let's analyze both elements of setting in turn.

First, the place in "Miss Brill" is ironically specific and not specific at all.  It is set in France, in an unnamed town, but specifically in the "Public Gardens" of that town.  It can also be implied that it is a small French town that is coastal (in that the people can view the shore from the gardens.)  How are we sure it is in France?  Well, that is the only reason why the French term "Les Jardins Publiques" would...

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epollock | Student

The story takes place in a park, the "Jardins Publiques," suggesting the setting is in a small French town. The sea is visible from the park, so the town must be seaside. 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. The band, playing on Sunday, is typical of a highlight for a small rural town. The time is fall because leaves are turning yellow and there is a chill in the air. The atmosphere is rather stark and bleak, while the mood is lonesome and austere. 

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epollock | Student

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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