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Word Count: 363
Miss Brill is another full portrait of a marginal woman told from the subjective point of view of an aging insignificant character The genteel Miss Brill is an observer of life one who sits on the sidelines and watches the game in all its striving contending cruelty and passion She is as frozen in time as in a sepia photograph wearing a ratty fox fur as if she were in the theater instead of seated on her usual bench in the park on Sunday observing the scenes played out one after another She even fancies that she the receptive audience might be missed by the players if she were to fail to show up for one of the performances Her illusion is cruelly shattered when she accidentally overhears two young lovers making fun of her as she avidly eavesdrops on their lovemaking In the unconscious irony of Miss Brills final behavior the onlooker aspect of her life is reinforced As she puts away her Sunday fur she imagines she hears something crying in the box So inauthentic is her life made up of secondhand experience as well as secondhand furs that she is incapable of recognizing the origin of her tears which of course is her grief and humiliation It is more natural for her to imagine that the weeping comes from the glass eyes of the foxs head on the boa In the study of Miss Brill the narrator follows her from privacy of her humble rooms to the exposure of the public park where she partakes of other peoples joys and sorrows in voyeuristic pleasure and then accompanies her to the bakeshop where she seeks to sweeten her weekly Sunday outing with a slice of cake Again as in the previous tale the cycle is complete when the author sees her safely back in her room at the end of her day But although the setting is familiar she has been irrevocably
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