What is a summary for Miss Brill?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Miss Brill is the protagonist of this story that focuses on an elderly English woman living in France who is quite lonely as she teaches students and reads to others who are elderly as well. 

Almost every day of the week is the same for Miss Brill, except for Sunday when she heads to the park to do some major people-watching from her "special seat" on a park bench. On this particular Sunday, the two people sitting next to Miss Brill on her park bench are fairly boring: they are not speaking either to each other or to her.

Still, Miss Brill enjoys her life. The things she experiences and observes in the park are "exactly like a play." People-watching provides entertainment for her.

Then Miss Brill usually continues on with her ritual by stopping at a special bakery. She always relishes the slice of almond cake that she gets there. She is always the most interested as to whether there is a slice of almond on the top or not. If there is a slice of almond on the top, then it is a very special Sunday for Miss Brill.

Things change a bit on this particular day. Miss Brill sits next to two young lovers who are complaining about her as an old woman. These two young people think Miss Brill should just go home and not bother them. It is at this point that Miss Brill realizes that she is yet another character on this stage that she is watching. She, herself, is part of the tragedy.

Miss Brill continues her thoughts on the tragedy of her life as she walks home on this particular day. She puts her fur back in the box and she thinks she hears it crying. Her life will never be the same.

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