In Hemingway's short story, point of view is dispersed between two waiters observing a solitary regular customer. Hemingway's symbolic use of opposition between light and dark also touches upon the central theme of maintaining dignity in old age. Point of view and symbolism are the key literary devices in both the Mansfield and Hemingway stories used to relate the theme of loneliness among the elderly.
"Miss Brill" is told from the heroine's point of view in the stream of consciousness style of writing. By using this style, Mansfield is able to create an in depth view of the heroine's personality without ever relating a detail about Miss Brill's own life ("Ms. Brill"). Instead, the reader must rely upon the main character's impressions of those around her to create a sense of understanding about Miss Brill. It is apparent from the story that this Sunday outing is a very important part of the heroine's weekly routine. Miss Brill looks forward to each Sunday as a chance to observe those around her and although she does not speak to anyone at the concert, she becomes a part of their lives by eavesdropping on conversations carried on around her. ...Show more