“Miss Brill” Short Story Response

This is an response for the short story Miss Brill, which I have studied in English class. The response is sort of an analysis on how the story was written. I tries to explain why the author chose this perspective to write the story. I did pretty well on this assignment, so that’s why I chose to post it up. I do realize that a lot of people might also study this short story. Remember, you can read this response for hints, but don’t copy word for word.


Even though Miss Brill reads a lot like a first person narrated story, it has, in fact, a third person perspective, since the narrator refers to Miss Brill as a “she” instead of “I.” The reason why this short story sound like a first person perspective is because the author inserted certain comments here and there that give the reader the feeling of a first person narration.

The first example is when Miss Brill takes her fur out. Then the text reads “Dear little thing! It was nice to feel it again.” Obviously, it’s not the narrator who has this though; it is Miss Brill. These words were not put into quotation marks by the author, so in a way, the readers are drawn more into the mind of Miss Brill because there are no quotation marks to distinguish these words as a thought of “her.”

There are many other comments like this one throughout the story. A bit down the first page is when Miss Brill imagines things about the fur. “Little rogue!” These little bits of thoughts from the first person perspective all end with exclamation marks or question marks, and they are littered throughout this short story in order to draw the readers into the mind of Miss Brill, so the reader can understand and appreciate the whole story.

The various first person remarks gives the reader the impression that Miss Brill is overly cheery and she seems to be pretending to be something she is not. In this case, Miss Brill is pretending to be happy, but deep down, she is a sad, lonely person who longs for companionship and compassion. She uses the upbeat little thoughts and her imagination to fool herself into sinking that she’s happy and appreciated, in order to get over the pain. Those little comments show the readers that Miss Brill is in denial of her sadness, and that she really needs to deal with her issues.

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