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A person’s perception usually differs from reality. Authors often use this to their advantage when writing, to create dramatic and surprising narratives. The short stories Identities by W.D. Valgardson and Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield are both about protagonists who have a very high opinion of themselves and their own appearance, and who judge the appearances of others around them quite heavily. In the end, others around them reveal that the protagonist’s self image turns out to be a contrast to how others see them. In the short stories Identities by W.D. Valgardson and Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield, the authors use point of view, perspective, and irony to prove the theme that the identities we prescribe to both ourselves and others …show more content…
In Identities, the main character is very egotistical, and assumes that the people waiting by the store are going to try and rob him, crafting a whole plan in case they try to talk to him. His plan is to “say that the ten [dollars] is all he’s got, that he stole the car…” (Identities 2) whereas in reality, those people probably were not even paying attention to him. At the end of the story, when the protagonist is confronted by the police officer, he is so sure that everyone knows how important he is that he “reaches his hand not in the air as he was ordered to…” (Identities 2), showing that from his perspective, he could disobey orders because the police officer would definitely view him as the important, high class man that he sees himself to be. In Miss Brill, the main character perceives her weekly visits to the park as some sort of play, and that she is an important “part of the performance” (Brill 3). She views herself with utmost importance, thinking “No doubt somebody would have noticed if she hadn’t been there...” (Brill 3). The reader finds out this perception is wrong though near the end when a young man at the park questions “who wants her?” (Brill 3). Through both protagonists’ perspectives, they are important people, however they are faced with reality when they find out that they are just like the people that they look down

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