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The Dolls House Katherine Mansfield. Kathleen: biography 1888 (New Zealand) 1923 (France) From a rich middle-class colonial family (her father was a banker.

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Presentation on theme: "The Dolls House Katherine Mansfield. Kathleen: biography 1888 (New Zealand) 1923 (France) From a rich middle-class colonial family (her father was a banker."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Dolls House Katherine Mansfield

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 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 Mansfield: childhood


6 Mansfield: perspective



9 Mansfield: education All the Karori children boys and girls went to the [same] Karori School

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 Mansfield: inspiration Selected children from the Primary School selected neighbour children were allowed over to play with them; and then they had great parties in the garden

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 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 Mansfield: literature Themes: class consciousness, loneliness, womens 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 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 Mansfield: pictures




20 Short-story: symbolism The main symbol is, at the same time, the title and the subject of the short story, that is, the dolls house There are many aspects revolving around this symbol or subject, as if the dolls house was a gravitational point where everything in the short story happens

21 Short-story: characteristics Characters: the Burnell sisters, the little Kelveys, the mother and aunt, school girls Action: the girls run to see the dolls house, the great novelty! Conflict: the little Kelveys are not invited to see it Themes: pride and prejudice, true and false feellings of friendship, innocence

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 dolls house Order: chronological order

23 Short-story: structure Exposition: the description of the dolls house and its effect upon the children Conflict: the initial conflict takes place when the poor sisters are not invited to see the dolls 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 societys prejudice. Rich people avoiding poor people

24 Short-story: structure Rising action: takes place when Kezia invites the little Kelveys sisters to see the dolls 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 dolls house. Elsa was happy manly because she saw the little lamp

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 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 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 Short-story: types All characters in The Dolls 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 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 Dolls House that is the example of parents about the education of their children

30 Short-story: symbolism The Dolls 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 familys 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 Short-story: more Maybe the literary allusion in The Dolls House could be the title, because is the same of the Ibsens 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 Dolls House where we can see soft indications of irony

32 Thank you Caio Begotti Carlos Conrado UFPR, 2010

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