Which of these quotations from "Miss Brill" represent irony or plot, and why does each one represent irony or plot?Here are the quotations from "Miss Brill": Although it was so brilliantly...

Which of these quotations from "Miss Brill" represent irony or plot, and why does each one represent irony or plot?

Here are the quotations from "Miss Brill":

Although it was so brilliantly fine--the blue sky powdered with gold and great spots of light like white wine splashed over the Jardins Publiques-- Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur.

The day was so charming--didn't he agree? And wouldn't he, perhaps?...But he shook his head, lighted a cigarette, slowly breathed a great deep puff into her face, and even while she was still talking and laughing, flicked the match away and walked on.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Although it was so brilliantly fine--the blue sky powdered with gold and great spots of light like white wine splashed over the Jardins Publiques-- Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur.

Irony is the occurrence of the unexpected in a situation, event, or comment. This first quote represent irony in "Miss Brill" because, while she loves her sweet little fox fur necklet, which she calls a "Little rogue," it is the fur that provokes the ruthless reaction from the "hero and heroine" of the Jardins Publiques, the reaction that drags Miss Brill from her contented, peaceful dream of a pleasant life of fresh participation with other like-minded people. Therefore, while the fox is her happiness and pleasure, it ironically turns out to be her disappointment and sorrow.

The day was so charming--didn't he agree? And wouldn't he, perhaps?...But he shook his head, lighted a cigarette, slowly breathed a great deep puff into her face, and even while she was still talking and laughing, flicked the match away and walked on.

This quote also represents irony because, even while the lady is happily chatting, the man shows his disdain for her by blowing cigarette smoke in her face and walking away. This is ironic because, while men smoked in front of women regularly in the 1920s (the time period of the story), they habitually courteously blew it away from the woman's face. This irony goes so far as to be the cruel class of irony called sarcasm. Sarcasm intends to wound and hurt with ironic words or behaviors, just as this man intended to hurt--and turn away--this lady.

Both quotes also represent plot because of how they directly or indirectly reflect on the progress of action and/or the development of the plot conflict. In the first, the fox is introduced and it is the fox that creates the conflict when the "hero and heroine" insult it and undermine Miss Brill's pleasantly settled life of minor happinesses. In the second, the man's treatment of the lady foreshadows the treatment Miss Brill will encounter in due time from the ill-bred, heartless, unsympathetic and unfeeling couple: "Why does she come here at all--who wants her? Why doesn't she keep her silly old mug at home?"

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