How to use quotes, analyzing Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill”

When writing an analysis paper, using quotes for support is necessary.  The following shows examples related to Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill.”  Suppose I am arguing that Miss Brill’s judgement of others leads to her own separation, insecurity, and lack of importance.

(The picture is of the author, not Miss Brill.)

Quotes need to be 1) introduced; this lets readers know that a quote is coming; and 2) Cited. This includes the author and page number usually.  Refer to MLA guidelines.

Partial Quote

Miss Brill shows contempt for the fashion choices of others, the “dreadful Panama hat” worn by the Englishman (Mansfield 739).

Remember, you do not need to quote entire sentences always; sometimes you only need certain parts, usually with drawing attention to word choice.  

Note how the period comes after the citation, which includes the author and page number.


Here’s another example, this time using more of the quote and an ellipsis mark, which signifies that words are omitted.

Miss Brill, in fact, judges not only the dress of others, but their habits as well.  Mansfield writes, “…Miss Brill had often noticed–there was something funny about nearly all of them.  They were odd, silent, nearly all old…” (739).

Note how, since I mention Mansfield when introducing the quote, I can refrain from doing so in the citation.  This way or the previous method can both work; decide what best flows with your analysis.

Full Quote

Miss Brill’s judgements actually represent her own shortcomings.  She fancies that others stumble into the park from cupboards, when she lives in one herself.  “But today she passed the baker’s by, climbed the stairs, went into the little dark room–her room like a cupboard–and sat down down on the red eiderdown,” (Mansfield 741).   Miss Brill changes her routine, which shows how this Sunday has affected her.    Mansfield’s reference to the bed covering symbolizes Miss Brill’s loneliness, given that she doesn’t have a partner.

Note how analysis utilizes all parts of the quote.   Also, notice how the sentence quoted ends in period, but we change that to a comma; the period comes after the citation.   

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Filed under Journal, Memoir

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