This paper is going to compare and contrast the "Miss Brill and Good Country People" we will look at those fiction terms that have been used in Miss Brill short story and are similar to those used in Good Country People. We will also review those features that have been used that are different.
"Miss Brill" is a short story written by Katherine Mansfield. It talks about Miss Brill who tutors English. She is on a vocation in a French city that we do not know of. In this story several fictional term have been used. These include characterization. We have the protagonist, who is Miss Brill, the foil, who are the couple who talk ill of Miss Brill and those people who came to the park as static characters.
In the Good Country People Mrs. Hopewell is the protagonist, her daughter Joy also called Hulga is the antagonist. We also have Mr. Manly as the existential character. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman are static characters in this story. The contrast of these stories, Miss Brill and Good Country People is that Miss Brill story does not have the existential character.
In both of this stories conflict is portrayed. In Miss Brill the conflict happens when Miss Brill overhears the couple in the park talking ill of her. They even said that she was not needed in the park. In Good Country People conflict happens when Mr. Manly who sells bible invites Hulga to go for a picnic with him. Hulga thinks that she would entice Mr. Manly to fall in love with her but in the end it is Mr. Manly who entices her and steal from her. He stole her eyeglasses and wooden leg.
There is also the fiction feature of rising action in both stories. In Miss Brill after she overhears the couple talk ill of her, she leaves the park and goes home. She does not even pass through her favorite bakery. When she gets home she takes of her coat and put it in a box never to wear it again. She is so sad.
In Good Country People Hulga is surprised when he learns that Mr. Manly was not a good person. This brings her to reality not to be judgmental and to appreciate those who really care for her like her mother and Mrs. Freeman.
Another contrast in these stories is that in Miss Brill the feature of foreshadowing has not been used. Whereas in Good Country People it has been used, where after Mr. Manly invites Hulga for Dinner, she imagines that she has power over Mr. Manly and she will manage to entice him to fall in Love with her.
Difference is also noted when personification is used in Miss Brill. This happens when her fur coat is made to appear like it hears because Miss Brill would talk to it. The coat also has feeling because it cries after they come from the pack. This feature has not been used in the Good Country People.
In both of these stories the element of symbolism has been used. The fur coat has been given feelings to show how Miss Brill was actually feeling in Miss Brill. In Good Country People Hulga's wooden leg symbolizes her faith. This is because she sees it as unwavering and immortal.
In the book Miss Brill many themes are tackled. These themes include characterization where Miss Brill envisages that she and the people who frequent the park are cast of a given play. After she is upset by the couple who talk about the fur she was putting on. She puts it in a box and she thinks that she hears it cry. Another theme in this story is loneliness. Although the way she thinks does not portrays her to be lonely, her way of acting does. In her thoughts she does not remember her family or friends but she focuses her thoughts on her students and the elderly man she reads newspaper to.
Another theme in this story is that of appearances and reality. As Miss Brill goes to the park, she is troubled by the old couple seated at the bench and is silent. This is because she will not be able to listen in to their conversations. She does not figure out their silence symbolizes her quiet life.
Soon after, she thinks of those people who come to the park as characters in a play and are linked to her in a peaceful way. She imagines the young couple to be the champions of her story but they disappoint her when they say harsh things about her. Miss Brill's fantasy of the play is shattered by this couple who do not think highly of her. This play which has been staged in her mind is very different to the happenings around her. It shows how Miss Brill is alienated from her surroundings.
In the story Good Country People several themes have been tackled. These themes include the theme of identity. It is uncovered when Joy changes her name to Hulga because she does not identify her self with the meaning of her name Joy. Joy means being happy and yet Hulga is not a happy person. She also does not feel like she belongs with her countrymen. She feels superior to them because of her high education.
The theme of faith or religion is also covered. As the story is being narrated Hulga always confesses that she does not believe in anything. But if you look deeper you discover that her faith was tied to her wooden leg. She believed that it was unwavering and immortal until Mr. Manly takes it from her.
Mr. Manly at first pretends to be someone good and he even sells Bibles. When he invites Hulga for dinner and steals from her the wooden leg and the sunglasses, we discover that his faith is false. Ironically his actions change Hulga's perception of the things. She realizes that those things she had put her faith in were immaterial. That is her education and her wooden leg.
The theme of illusion and reality is also dealt with. Mr. Manly at first seems to be a good person who is very religious but in reality he is a thief. He uses his faith to lure unsuspecting disable persons. After he had taken Hulga's leg he confesses to her that his job is to steal prostheses from disabled people.
As the story begins, Hulga is portrayed as an intelligent person because of her education. This illusion is destroyed when we discover that she is very naÃ¯ve. We discover this when she agrees to go on a date with Mr. Manly. She does not question him when he asks her to give him her wooden leg and her glasses. Later he leaves her and takes her things with him.
In conclusion these two books Miss Brill and Good Country People are great books and they have used a wide range of elements of fiction. Their themes are rich with deeper meaning that gives their readers well deserved lessons in life.