Mansfield web


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Mansfield web

  1. 1. The Doll’s House Katherine Mansfield
  2. 2. Kathleen: biography • 1888 (New Zealand) 1923 (France) • From a rich middle-class colonial family (her father was a banker and also a knight of the Empire)
  3. 3. Mansfield: life • Early life in Wellington and its suburbans • Social context: colonial Victorian period during childhood, World War I when adult • Relation to her short-stories – Family ties (cousin, brother, father and mother visited her in Europe, which helped to influence her short-stories about “home”) – Country-side memories
  4. 4. Mansfield: childhood
  5. 5. Mansfield: childhood
  6. 6. Mansfield: perspective
  7. 7. Mansfield: perspective
  8. 8. Mansfield: perspective
  9. 9. Mansfield: education • “All the Karorichildren — boys and girls —went to the [same] Karori School”
  10. 10. Mansfield: inspiration • She wrote in 1916: “I begin to think of an unfinished memory which has been with me for years. It is a very good story if only I can tell it right, and it is called „Lena‟” • Kezia and Lottie appear in other stories, perhaps indicating crystallized characters inspired by early memories as a girl: At The Bay, The Man Without a Temperament, Prelude
  11. 11. Mansfield: inspiration • “Selected children from the Primary School — selected neighbourchildren — were allowed over to play with them; and then they had great parties in the garden”
  12. 12. Mansfield: adult life • Left New Zealand and move to England to never see home again • Had two lesbian relationships, possibly four, and had a spontaneous abortion once • Kept writing about personal experiences (like her time in Bavaria for a treatment) • Married John Murry, an influent editor, which allowed her to publish her works and review other authors of that time
  13. 13. Mansfield: literature • Influenced by D. H. Lawrence, Woolf,French symbolists,Wilde, Chekhov • Modernist texts: attention to details, nonlinear narratives, not much structure • Today considered one of the best short- story writers of her period, frequently included in short-stories anthologies. • Trivia: 33 short-stories documented online
  14. 14. Mansfield: literature • Themes: class consciousness, loneliness, women’s rights, māoris, reality versus appearances, relationships, childhood • Fragment of letter written by Woolf to Mansfield: “It seems to me very important that women should learn to write”
  15. 15. Mansfield: death • Died of tuberculosis, she was only 34 “ ...the longer I live, the more I return to New Zealand. A young country is a real heritage, though it takes one time to remember it. But New Zealand is in my very bones”
  16. 16. Mansfield: pictures
  17. 17. Mansfield: pictures
  18. 18. Mansfield: pictures
  19. 19. Mansfield: pictures
  20. 20. Short-story: symbolism • The main symbol is, at the same time, the title and the subject of the short story, that is, the doll’s house • There are many aspects revolving around this symbol or subject, as if the doll’s house was a gravitational point where everything in the short story happens
  21. 21. Short-story: characteristics • Characters: the Burnell sisters, the little Kelveys, the mother and aunt, school girls • Action: the girls run to see the doll’s house, the great novelty! • Conflict: the little Kelveys are not invited to see it • Themes: pride andprejudice, true and false feellingsof friendship, innocence
  22. 22. Short-story: plot • Emphasis: Mansfield focuses the relationship among the society of her time, emphasizing themes such as prejudice and external appearances • Pacing: the rhythm of the narrative is fast, covering mainly the interest of showing and seeing the doll’s house • Order: chronological order
  23. 23. Short-story: structure • Exposition: the description of the doll’s house and its effect upon the children • Conflict:the initial conflict takes place when the poor sisters are not invited to see the doll’s house – Person against person: all characters but Kezia avoid the little Kelveys sisters due to their social condition – Person against environment: at the same time the little Kelveys as well as their parents are victims of the society’s prejudice. Rich people avoiding poor people
  24. 24. Short-story: structure • Rising action: takes place when Kezia invites the little Kelveys sisters to see the doll’s house • Climax: when finally the little Kelveys sisters see the doll s house and soon after they are expelled from the backyard by aunt Beryl • Falling action: the little Kelveys, after that tremendous fright, stop to rest • Resolution: the little Kelveys were satisfied to see the doll’s house. Elsa was happy manly because she saw the little lamp
  25. 25. Short-story: narrator • The narrator is omniscient during the whole plot of the short story. He is an observer, controlling the situation and some times being an intruder narrator, commenting about life in a poetic way in this short story
  26. 26. Short-story: setting • The readers have only two clues of the setting: when, at the beginning of the short story the narrator says that Mrs. Hay went back to town, that is, she was in some place at countryside; when the narrator says that there was one school for miles, giving to the readers the idea of a small place or countryside • Thus, the setting is important to establish the confluence of people from many levels of society where the theme of prejudice is infiltrated
  27. 27. Short-story: characterization • Protagonist and antagonist: it is difficult to establish the protagonist of this short story because Kezia and the little Kelveys have the same importance in the plot. If one or another did not exist the plot would not be well constructed • On the other hand we have many antagonists in the plot. Isabel Burnell, her colleagues and her aunt are in the same level, all them carrying their prejudice against the little Kelveys. The conventions of society, the false appearances and prejudice are antagonists as well • The only characters presented in details on the plot are the little Kelveys. The narrator explores their clothes as a signal of their social condition. The direct presentation is used
  28. 28. Short-story: types • All characters in The Doll’s House are flat • The antagonists are characterized by their prejudice and insensibility, the children following the educational patterns of their parents • In spite of their kindness, simplicity and innocence, Kezia and the little Kelveys are also flat characters, because there is no complexity in their behavior
  29. 29. Short-story: themes • The central concept of this short story is the prejudice against poverty as well as the idea of false appearances • Besides, there is a subtle theme in The Doll’s House that is the example of parents about the education of their children
  30. 30. Short-story: symbolism • The Doll’s house is a symbol • In this short story the external aspect of the house, its beauty, appearance, color and form alludes to the external aspect of human being, that is, his position in society, assets and family’s name • The internal components of the house have many meanings, being the little lamp which has the main significance. The lamp represents the soul, the qualities of the human being and his real nature
  31. 31. Short-story: more • Maybe the literary allusion in The Doll’s House could be the title, because is the same of the Ibsen’s famous play. But, as there is not any connection between contents in these works, maybe there is only a coincidence • There are some quotations in The Doll’s House where we can see soft indications of irony
  32. 32. Thank you CaioBegotti Carlos Conrado UFPR, 2010