A senior citizen is described as an elderly person usually beyond the age of retirement. In many countries, such citizens are taken care of by the whole community and special shelters are provided for them. However, once such special centers are set up, no person actually stops to think whether the most aged members of our society are happy or not. Do they like staying all alone in a closed room, with other elderly people? Or would they rather like to spend time with family and friends? Society often tends to ignore and avoid such questions. "Miss Brill" by Katherine Mansfield is a very insightful story that deals with this subject. The main character, Miss Brill, is portrayed as an isolated, vulnerable and fragile senior citizen. She lives in her own unreal world and tries her best to fit in with the rest of society. However, when she realizes her actual role, she becomes depressed and emotionally devastated. This story provides its readers with an insight about how isolated, susceptible and depressed elderly people feel because of the way community behaves with them. .
Katherine Mansfield characterizes Miss Brill as a person who really wants to fit in with the community. She stays in her "Cupboard- like" room and goes out only on Sunday afternoons. These small outings give her immense pleasure, as she feels part of the happenings around her. In the following lines, Miss Brill describes how she feels about her Sunday outings: "Oh, how fascinating it was! How she enjoyed it! How she loved sitting here, watching it all! It was like a play. It was exactly like a play- (Pg 330). She finds all the people in the "Jardins Publiques" as parts of a play. By thinking of it in that manner, she would be one of the characters and less ignored by the rest of the community. On Pg 330, she says: " Even she had a part and came every Sunday. No doubt somebody would have noticed if she hadn't been there; she was a part of the performance after all.