Miss Brill

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

And when she breathed, something light and sad—no, not sad, exactly—something gentle seemed to move in her bosom.

Related Characters: Miss Brill
Related Symbols: Fur Coat and Garments
Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:
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She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn’t listen, at sitting in other people’s lives just for a minute while they talked round her.

Related Characters: Miss Brill
Page Number: 299
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Often people sat on the benches and green chairs, but they were nearly always the same, Sunday after Sunday, and—Miss Brill had often noticed—there was something funny about nearly all of them. They were odd, silent, nearly all old, and from the way they stared they looked as though they’d just come from dark little rooms or even—even cupboards!

Related Characters: Fine old man and big old woman
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Oh, how fascinating it was...It was exactly like a play.

Related Characters: Miss Brill (speaker)
Page Number: 301
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“Yes, I have been an actress for a long time.”

Related Characters: Miss Brill (speaker), Old Man
Page Number: 301
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“Why does she come here at all—who wants her? Why doesn’t she keep her silly old mug at home?”
“It’s her fu-ur which is so funny,” giggled the girl. “It’s exactly like a fried whiting.”

Related Characters: Boy and Girl (speaker), Miss Brill
Page Number: 302
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

If there was an almond it was like carrying home a tiny present—a surprise—something that might very well not have been there.

Related Characters: Miss Brill
Page Number: 302
Explanation and Analysis:
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She unclasped the necklet quickly; quickly, without looking, laid it inside. But when she put the lid on she thought she heard something crying.

Related Characters: Miss Brill
Related Symbols: Fur Coat and Garments
Page Number: 302
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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