The two women, Miss Brill and Emily, have several similarities and differences. Both protagonists chose to live in earlier times and hold on to the past, they are very lonely, and they both cling to an object of affection that is no longer living. Even though they are so similar they do possess a few differences. Emily chooses to shun society and her character remains unchanged throughout the entire story. On the other hand, Miss Brill loves to go out and feel like a part of society and her character changes emotionally in the end.
A major comparison between the two elderly women is their inability to move beyond their past. They seem to be forever positioned in the earlier times of their lives. When Emily's father died she refused to believe that he was dead; and for three days she told people that he was still alive. She would not allow anyone to bury him during those three days. Also, Emily never paid the taxes on her home because she was still under the impression that she did not owe any taxes. When men from the city came to collect her money she called them by the name of an old Colonel that was no longer alive. She tried to deny reality and live in the past. In comparison, Miss Brill's life consists of putting on her fur, sitting on a bench, and watching the people around her. It was her daily routine that appears to never change. She never moved on with her life; and instead tried to live vicariously through others.
The two protagonists were also very lonely and the objects that they clung to were dead. Emily lived in a big house with her father until he passed away and she was left alone. She did not have any friends and she never spoke to anyone who lived in her town. For the most part, she kept to herself until another man came into her life to fill the void of her father. She was afraid of losing him so she murdered him in order to hold on to him. Similarly, Miss Brill lived by herself and ha