Miss Bill Essay, Research Paper
Peripety can occur when a person has a meeting that results in a change of character. In the short story titled Miss Brill, a woman has a chance encounter that has a tragic ending.
Miss Brill was a lonely woman, who found enjoyment in the park on the weekends. While at the park, Miss Brill sat to listen to conversations of others and watch the patrons as they went about their business, as she had many times before. She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn t listen, at sitting in on other s lives just for a minute while they talked round her (112).
On one particular Sunday, she began to daydream and allowed her imagination to run away as she pretended to be an important actress in a play, and the park as her stage. Miss Brill began to build a high sense of self as she sat by to watch her fellow actors as they portrayed various duties within the play. Because she felt she was just one of many actors, she convinced herself of her importance to the others around her. No doubt somebody would have noticed if she hadn t been there; she was part of the performance after all (113).
Miss Brill was accompanied by a young couple whose opinions of her were quite opposite of hers. Why does she come here at all-who wants her? (114). Miss Brill had spent her afternoon entertaining herself with the lives of others but found it awkward to be the target of the couple s criticism. Their actions were negative and tore away at Miss Brill s ego and their words cut right through her self-esteem and broke her spirit. Her weekend routine would never be the same. She felt that she was important to the other patrons as she was an auditor for them, but fell from her pedestal when she heard for herself how others viewed her.
Miss Brill had been very proud of herself when she first arrived at the park that day, and returned home a broken woman. Strangers, who never cared to meet her or to know her, were very rude. People do form opinions about themselves based on another person s actions; this is what occurred to Miss Brill. Miss Brill had thought of herself as useful and wanted, but by the actions of the inconsiderate couple, she began to consider herself as unwanted by society.
Miss Brill was a seemingly innocent elderly woman. She took great pride in herself as she mastered her skill of eavesdropping. Because of her habit, the result was a crushed ego. It is human nature to judge others by comparing a person s features or characteristics to what is a personal sense of perfection. Although it was wrong for the young couple to chastise Miss Brill with their statements, it was equally wrong for her to eavesdrop.