Is Ignorance, Truly Blissful?
Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield
I can’t exactly remember when or who told me, but someone once told “me ignorance is bliss.” I’m aware that, that is a well known saying. However it’s an interesting concept. How could the absence of knowledge or information be enjoyable? Society is designed to seek more knowledge in order to advance ourselves and make life better. The development of computers that transfer information in seconds has improved the quality of life for people across the world. How could anyone enjoy being ignorant of their surroundings?
Miss Brill in the short story Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield might be a good example of someone whom might benefit from living in ignorance. Miss Brill is an English teacher that lives in a small French town. During her off time she reads the newspaper to an elderly gentleman a couple times a week. Each week on Sunday she visits a local park to listen to music from a live band and mingle. The odd part is that she goes to the park alone. Also as a critic put it “She fails, however to realize that she is one of (odd looking person at the park) them.” (scribd) It is apparent in the story that she didn’t have many friends, if any. I would speculate that she was a foreigner since the story describes her as an English teacher in a small French town. That would explain her lack of friends and her evident need to fit in. Unfortunately the town locals do not socially except her. At the end one of the audience members is over heard by Miss Brill saying “why does she come here at all – who wants her?”(sribd)
Could you imagine being a social outcast? A person with thick skin might quickly dismiss those that don’t like them. But how long could that last when it feels like the entire town laughs, mocks, ridicules or at the very least thinks poorly of you? By nature a person has a need to socially interact with something or someone. Unfortunately social interaction was an issue for Miss...