My weekends are always filled with lists of things that I must accomplish. One of my hobbies is attending sport events which did not just help me to connect with my friends. They also offered me a chance to unwind the week’s accumulated stress from my place of work.Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill” presents a familiar scenario that I occasionally encounter when attending these weekend events. As I read through the story, I can see the many parallels that I share with Miss Brill’s unease attendance of an event during which she is not able to relate with anything that happens. This is despite the fact that Miss Brill is no stranger to the event she is attending, yet for all she knows, she cuts across as a visitor, both to the band in the event and even the actors. As she continues to stay at the place where she has probably gone to forget all her woes, Miss Brill becomes more uncomfortable with the environment. This is evident especially when it dawns on her that she is actually in a theatre. I particularly identify myself with her case because, normally, I get carried away with so many issues that dot my life to the point of forgetting that life can go ahead without necessarily dwelling on the past unfortunate things.
It is common for me to attend exciting events that help me better understand my life, much like Miss Brill. Some of the events that I do attend are sports and inspirational meetings. Unlike Miss Brill, I seem not to have a particular interest in activities that take place over the weekend. On many occasions, I have found myself attending football matches in which I do not even know the names of the teams that are playing. It becomes worse a situation when you do not meet anyone familiar in the game. It is even worse when everybody else seems to be enjoying the activities at the event, and you are the only one who seems to be out of place. In Miss Brill, the writer describes the unfamiliar environment that Miss Brill finds herself in. Everyone seems to have a partner, or someone whom they can converse with. The narrator observes Miss Brill’s taste of the band’s music of the day and notes, “For although the band played all year round on Sundays, out of the season it was never the same” (Mansfield, 184). The reason people attend such events is to at least be able to enjoy a little pint of love in their lives. Yet, Miss Brill fails to discern the joy in the air when the music is played from none other than her favorite band. I completely identify myself with this situation, yet what I do not understand is why I still do not have friends at friendly events that I have regularly attended during weekends.
One of the most intimidating things in a social event is the thought that everyone else is enjoying while you singly remains a spectacle to be watched. Such have and continue to happen occasionally to me although this has not tampered my spirit to enjoy life. Being able to derive pleasures from the little things that surround us is a duty that I am passionate to achieve. Sometimes, I go out to meet people but I end up talking to myself in an event, even where people are readily willing to socialize with me. I blame my individual characteristics; that of an introverted person who think people should mind their own business even when it is clear that the business at hand is a social one.
Whenever I become agitated with my character, I usually resort to buying gifts for myself, or maybe just shop around to see new arrivals in shops. This is just like the narrator in Miss Brill describes her behaviors saying in case she carried an almond, then “it was like carrying home a tiny present” (Mansfield, 189). I too, always find myself carrying something home from these events. What I do forget about is that I do not have someone to give those gifts to; those I knew had not asked me to buy things for them. They would have probably preferred us buying things together, not as an escapee hobby to forget all the problems of our lives, but as a dignified duty that we have to do as a family.
I definitely understand the narrator’s description of Miss Brill when she finally gets in her house. Her behaviors towards her routine activities clearly demonstrates the frustrations that I have always had whenever I fail to offload the burden that I carry as a person living in a fast-moving world, where people are connected with technology. The narrator says, “She sat there for a long time” (Mansfield, 189). This reminds me of the endless times I have had to sit alone in my room and ponder about the real meaning of life. Sometimes I have this impression that everyone else is living in a contrasted world. That is, a feeling that what people actually see and do is not the actual life. In fact, I have in many occasions tempted to believe that I am the only one experiencing the meaning of life where people are dissociated from the world and all they do is meaningless to the next person.
In conclusion, from Mansfield’s Miss Brill, I have learnt that building relationships with strangers is a great aspect of human beings. It helps in relieving stress besides helping people to align themselves with the reality of life. People who are without meaningful relationships have had to lead a lonely and disillusioned life, just like it is the case with my life and that of Miss Brill.
- Mansfield, Katherine. “Miss Brill” The Garden Party, and Other Stories. Ed.Alfred A. Knopf, 1922. 182-189. Retrieved 21 September 2013 from: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/mansfield/garden/brill.html