Miss Brill


Katherine Mansfield

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Ermine toque and Gentleman in grey Character Analysis

Ermine is a type of white fur and a toque is a type of woman’s hat. Miss Brill identifies the woman by nothing more than her clothes, thus placing utmost importance on this aspect because she understands clothes as a mark of one’s importance in and engagement with society. Though the ermine toque and gentleman in grey speak pleasantly with one another, Miss Brill notices how the woman’s hair is faded into the same color as her hat, which is also worn-out.

Ermine toque and Gentleman in grey Quotes in Miss Brill

The Miss Brill quotes below are all either spoken by Ermine toque and Gentleman in grey or refer to Ermine toque and Gentleman in grey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Loneliness and Alienation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Miss Brill published in 1991.
Miss Brill Quotes

The ermine toque was alone; she smiled more brightly than ever. But even the band seemed to know what she was feeling and played more softly…What would she do? What was going to happen now?

Related Symbols: Fur Coat and Garments
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:

They were all on the stage. They weren’t only the audience, not only looking on; they were acting. Even she had a part and came every Sunday.

Page Number: 301
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ermine toque and Gentleman in grey Character Timeline in Miss Brill

The timeline below shows where the character Ermine toque and Gentleman in grey appears in Miss Brill. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Miss Brill
Delusion and Reality Theme Icon
Connectedness Theme Icon
Youth and Age Theme Icon
...little boy picks them up for her, after which the woman throws them away. Suddenly an ermine toque [which describes a type of white fur hat] and a gentleman in grey meet in... (full context)