Analyzing of a Beautiful Literature Piece in Katherine’s Short Story Miss Brill and Wh Auden’s Poem Musee Des Beaux Arts

June 7, 2021 by Essay Writer

Both a short story by Katherine Mansfield and a poem by WH Auden present beautiful pieces of literature, filled with fine, captivating descriptions and high sensibility. They both make us look at some things, that we have already seen or observed before in a different way, through the eyes of the authors. Both of the writers transform their perception to the readers in a picturesque, delicate way , leaving no doubt that the perception is in the eye of the beholder we are told.

A short story ” Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield tells the readers about one afternoon from the life of Miss Brill. The readers do not have much information about Miss Brill: it is only known that she is already not young, she gives some English lessons, and that she enjoys observing people. But even before this short information about this lady is provided, the readers are already familiar with the world of Miss Brill’s senses: they already know how she perceives a nice Sunday afternoon, what colors has the sky that she looks at, and the air that Miss Brill breathes smells and tastes : for her it is “…like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now and again a leaf came drifting”.The readers also know how nice it feels to take an old fur out of box and to touch it again…From the very beginning of the story the author creates a sense of presence; the pictures described are so vivid that the readers receive a feeling of being the eye-witnesses of that Sunday afternoon.

Later on the readers get acquainted with some other people, listening to the band along with Miss Brill. But once again, no actual information is provided about those people, the “acquaintance” occurs through the perception of Miss Brill. Old people, sitting on the bench, couples, little children, a beautiful lady, throwing a bunch of violets away-all those people appear to the readers in a way Miss Brill sees them, her attitude towards them is passed on to the readers, and the readers take the Miss Brill’s perception as their own.The sounds of the Sunday band are described in a very fine and enchanting way as well. The readers experience how Miss Brill’s music perception changes as her emotions change: “for although the band played all the year round onSundays, out of season it was never the same” .Maybe to some other person all the sounds played by the band would seem the same, or they would change in some other way, but the readers perceive it the way Miss Brill feels about it. The feeling that Miss Brill has after hearing the conversation of a young couple is also described with the help of images: the way it is illustrated how Miss Brill refuses from her traditional piece of honey-cake and put her beloved fur back into the box makes the readers see how she was feeling.

The poem “Musee des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden gives the readers the author’s perception of some masterpieces. In a delicate way it is described how important is every detail of those paintings, how much meaning is included in every movement of the brush. The author persuades the readers, that the ancient painters really “understood

its human position”. W.H. Auden has a great gift to see the whole story behind the parts of the paintings, and the readers learn to understand the sense of the details of works of art as well. While reading the poem the readers see (maybe even for the first time, although they may have seen the painting before) that the water, the sun, the sky, and the ship in the masterpiece of Brueghel all are combined in a special, a well-though way, in order to contribute to the general message the painter wanted to express. By looking at this painting W.H. Auden can even hear “splash, the forsaken cry”, and his vision is so convincing, that after reading the poem it is hard to imagine that someone may not hear those sounds…W.H. Auden does not simply tell the readers about the paintings or about their meanings, he makes them see the images so vividly, as if the mentioned paintings were right behind their eyes. Like Katherine Mansfield, W.H. Auden creates in readers a feeling of presence, making them to perceive things through his eyes.

Thus, it is seen that both of the writers have a great talent for creating wonderful bright images without going into many words. They make their pictures talk, they share their senses with readers, and their works leave a pleasant aftertaste, proving that the perception is in the eye of the beholder we are told.

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