The Garden Party
Literary Devices in "Miss Brill" 12th Grade
In “Miss Brill,” Katherine Mansfield uses a combination of symbolism and mood to portray an old woman’s veiled loneliness and loss of innocence. In the story, the protagonist Miss Brill maintains the quiet life of a person who is content to watch the events of others’ lives unfold around her while she remains a figure on the outskirts of the action. Miss Brill convinces herself that her life comprises an important aspect of the greater whole of her community, a resolution that is shattered when she is confronted with evidence of her own insignificance.
Mansfield uses a variety of literary devices to illustrate the nature of Miss Brill’s reality. From the beginning, Mansfield utilizes descriptions of the weather and music in the park to establish a mood that parallels her protagonist’s feelings and mental state. On the surface, this weather appears to be pleasant and “brilliantly fine.” Miss Brill sets out from her house with a carefree and happy manner. However, there is an undercurrent of “something light and sad.” Miss Brill quickly denies the presence of this sadness, rationalizing it instead as a gentle sensation. Likewise, when she listens to a band, Miss Brill...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 943 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7598 literature essays, 2153 sample college application essays, 318 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in