A Comparative Study of Stream of Consciousness Technique in Miss Brill and The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

December 10, 2020 by Essay Writer

Miss Brill and Granny Weatherall

Katherine Mansfield’s short story “Miss Brill” is written in third person omniscient. The story lapses over one Sunday afternoon. Katharine Anne Porter’s short story “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” is also told in the lapse of about a day but is told in a variant of third person called stream of consciousness. Stream of consciousness presents things going through the characters’ mind. The protagonists of “Miss Brill” and “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” are similar in the same ways they are different.

Miss Brill is a lonely woman who looks forward to spending her Sundays in the Jardins Publique. She sits in her “special” seat eavesdropping. This is her escape from the life she has. She likes to think she and everyone in the park on Sundays are part of a play but in reality, she is a part of nothing. Sundays and her fox fur coat are two of the few things that make her happy. She’s quite embarrassed to tell her English pupils how she spends her Sunday afternoons

Granny Weatherall is the opposite of lonely but more like smothered. The Doctor won’t leave her alone, her daughter won’t leave her side, and Father Connolly comes to visit.

Miss Brill is quite happy with the life she fantasizes for herself. She is not at all in touch with reality. She thinks of the others who come to sit on the benches on Sunday as, “They were odd, silent, nearly all old, and from the way they stared they looked as though they’d just come from dark little rooms or even—even cupboards!” (Mansfield, 102)

Granny Weatherall is quite bitter when looking back on her life and realizing how many of her loved ones had did her wrong. George was her fiancé who left her at the altar. She then married John who died young and left her to play the role of mother and father. Cornelia, granny Weatherall’s daughter treats her like a child. She acknowledges the reality of everything that has happened to her.

Though Miss Brill and Granny Weatherall seem to lead absolute different lives they are both very observant women. Miss Brill was quite observant on her Sunday afternoons in the park. She sat in her “special” seat and observe everything and everyone. She could notice any slight change from last Sundays afternoon. “Wasn’t the conductor wearing a new coat, too?” (Mansfield, 101).

Granny Weatherall is in touch with reality while Miss Brill fantasizes up a life on her Sunday afternoons to forget about everything else. Miss Brill is lonely while Granny Weatherall is overwhelmed with company. One main characteristic the two protagonists have in common is their observant eye. Ultimately Miss Brill and Granny Weatherall have more differences then similarities.

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