Miss Brill Vs The Chrysanthemums

866 Words4 Pages
The American writers John Steinbeck and Katherine Mansfield from New Zealand both were modernist writers of short fictional stories. They portrayed different looking characters having similar life issues and encounters. In ‘’Miss Brill’’ and ‘’The Chrysanthemums’’ both female protagonists have an insight about themselves and learn something new about the world they live in. They are drawn together by their uneventful lives and thriving for something to happen but separated in terms of looks. First of all, Miss Brill is a lonely old lady, who is a school teacher and lives in France. In her spare time she likes to get dressed up in her fur wrap and then go to the park. There she listens to other people's conversations and is being judgemental. Her life is dull and other people’s happiness make her appreciate life. Elisa is similar in the way she enjoys her routine. She is a 35 year old wife living on a farm in the Salinas Valley of California and growing chrysanthemums. A proof of how simple and boring her life seems is her reaction when her husband asks her if she would like to go to town for dinner and a movie. ‘’She said she would like to go to town with him like she really didn’t get to spend much time with him’’. They seem to be psychologically stable but in reality unsatisfied with their occupations. Elisa is an artist living expressing herself through her flowers. Her house is neat and well organized and she looks happy. In reality she envies the tinker living as a free man on the road even if he has no education and sleeps in his wagon. Miss Brill reads the newspaper to an old man 4 times a week and teaches but all she tends to have interest in is to watch people’s life as a play. When she goes to the park, she is part of an audience. She is in fact transposing bystanders’ busy lives onto hers to forget she is a useless old lady waiting for death. Despite

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