Essay on The Feminist Struggle in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories

Essay on The Feminist Struggle in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories

Length: 2631 words (7.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Katherine Mansfield belongs to a group of female authors that have used their financial resources and social standing to critique the patriarchal status quo. Like Virginia Woolf, Mansfield was socioeconomically privileged enough to write influential texts that have been deemed as ‘proto-feminist’ before the initial feminist movements. The progressive era in which Mansfield writes proves to be especially problematic because, “[w]hile the Modernist tradition typically undermined middle-class values, women … did not have the recognized rights necessary to fully embrace the liberation from the[se] values” (Martin 69). Her short stories emphasized particular facets of female oppression, ranging from gendered social inequality to economic classism, and it is apparent that “[p]oor or rich, single or married, Mansfield’s women characters are all victims of their society” (Aihong 101). Mansfield’s short stories, “The Garden Party” and “Miss Brill”, represent the feminist struggle to identify traditional patriarchy as an inherent caste system in modernity. This notion is exemplified through the social bonds women create, the naïve innocence associated with the upper classes, and the purposeful dehumanization of women through oppressive patriarchal methods. By examining the female characters in “The Garden Party” and “Miss Brill”, it is evident that their relationships with other characters and themselves notify the reader of their encultured classist preconceptions, which is beneficial to analyze before discussing the sources of oppression.
Social and internal dialogue is representative of the enculturation process that Laura and Miss Brill have been exposed to. Both of Mansfield’s short stories represent a binary: Laura’s realizations of...

... middle of paper ...

.... Print.

Day, Thomas. “The Politics of Voice in Katherine Mansfield’s ‘The Garden Party’.”
English 60.229. (2011): 128-141. Print.

Mandel, Miriam B. “Reductive Imagery in ‘Miss Brill’.” Studies in Short Fiction 26.4
(1989): 473-77. Print.

Mansfield, Katherine. “Miss Brill.” The Twentieth Century and Beyond. Ed. Black,
Joseph et al. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2006. 439-441. Print

Mansfield, Katherine. “The Garden Party.” The Twentieth Century and Beyond. Ed.
Black, Joseph et al. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2006. 432-439. Print.

Martin, W. Todd. “‘Why haven’t I got a “real home?’: Katherine Mansfield’s Divided
Self.” Journal of New Zealand: JNZL 31 (2013): 66-83. Print.

Moran, Patricia. “Unholy Meanings: Maternity, Creativity, and Orality in Katherine Mansfield.” Feminist Studies 17.1 (1991): 105-125. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

19th Century Short Stories Essay

- “Despite its’ brevity, the short story is capable of dealing with important issues”, this statement is very true as many controversial of today have been recognized by the authors of the 19th Century short stories. Some of these issues include; the class struggle, poverty, death, equality, sanitation, education and more. In this piece, I will be linking some of these issues with a few short stories. The ones I have chosen are; The Nightingale and the Rose, by Oscar Wilde, the Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Hop Frog, by Edgar Allan Poe....   [tags: Short Stories]

Research Papers
826 words (2.4 pages)

Analysis Of Katherine Anne Porter 's ' The Grave ' Essay example

- ... One example of her works is a short story titled, “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.” In this, Porter tells the story of a woman being jilted at the alter, jilted by her children, and jilted on her deathbed. As Ray B. West, author of Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, writes, “Miss Porter 's experience, then, is not only of the fixed, almost absolute, values of Southern society, but also of our relationship to them in the face of a history of movement and of change.” This is evidence that although her writings may be based on the past social norms of the twentieth century, the lessons and values exposed are still relevant today, decades after she has died....   [tags: Short story, Fiction, Katherine Anne Porter]

Research Papers
1086 words (3.1 pages)

Essay Kate Chopin 's Short Stories

- During her life Kate Chopin wrote several novels, short stories, and poems. She wanted female liberation, unlike other women activist scholars of the time. She searched for personal equality for both men and women. Furthermore; Chopin didn’t restrict her investigation to physical liberation she wanted women political opinions to be taken seriously. Chopin’s writing gave the means to live how she wanted to live mentally and physically as opposed to what society expected of her (Deter). Chopin started writing late in life and her experiences gave her materials for her stories....   [tags: Family, Short story, Natchitoches Parish]

Research Papers
918 words (2.6 pages)

The Stories of Katherine Mansfield Essay

- “Dialogue in fiction is what characters do to one another,” the novelist Elizabeth Bowen argued. What is read and discussed is what the characters create, what they do, how they react, etc. Katherine Mansfield recapitulates exactly that through her creative and illustrating short stories. Mansfield takes you on a ride throughout her stories through the use of many different literary techniques displaying feelings and emotions. Katherine Mansfield wrote “A Dill Pickle,” a short story based on two former lovers....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Research Papers
1818 words (5.2 pages)

John Updike And Walkers Short Stories Essay

- ... Margaret the youngest of the children is relieved to hear the news out loud to relieve her growing suspicion of her parents. After dinner Joan reprimands Richard for crying at the table seemed to make it look like the divorce is her fault. The reader realizes that Richard has had an affair. Dickie who is 17, is out with friends at a concert, is the last child to get the news. Richard struggles to tell him, and when Dickie who is stunned asks for a reason, that moment Richard seems to forget why he is really separating from his family in the first place....   [tags: Family, Short story, Marriage, An American Family]

Research Papers
1367 words (3.9 pages)

Disjunction versus Communion in Raymond Carver's Short Stories Essay

- Disjunction versus Communion in Raymond Carver's Short Stories Raymond Carver, poet, essayist, and short story writer, was very different from some other writers in that he clipped his writing until only the essential remained. " Carver not only acknowledged the effect that fiction could have on readers, he proclaimed that it should affect readers."( Bonetti 58) Thus, when Carver writes about intimate relationships, the reader perceives the stories as more than entertainment or skillful language; the reader relates to the characters' situations and applies the knowledge to their own lives....   [tags: Raymond Carver Spirituality Short Stories Essays]

Research Papers
3811 words (10.9 pages)

Discuss the depiction of women and women's lives in the short stories of Katherine Mansfield.

- Katherine Mansfield wrote all of her work between the years 1911 and 1925. This was a transitional period for women, where women began to fight for their right to live as equals to men, who up until then had dominated society. In 1915 she started writing what she hoped to be a novel, entitled `The Aloe', which was published in 1918 as a short story with the title `Prelude'. In Prelude Katherine Mansfield focuses on the women and the girls, and their struggles to come to terms with their identities....   [tags: World Literature]

Research Papers
1369 words (3.9 pages)

The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine

- The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine Anchee Min, a Chinese novelist, has written many books about life in China revolving around the Cultural Revolution, including her autobiography Red Azalea. In her novel Katherine (1995), readers are exposed to life after the Cultural Revolution. The story focuses on two bold characters—Katherine and Zebra. Katherine, an American schoolteacher, comes to China to teach English to the younger generation. Her western ideology—free spirit, free will, and her stylish appearance--influences her students to think differently about the ways they live....   [tags: Katherine]

Free Essays
671 words (1.9 pages)

The Life and Work of Katherine Mansfield Essays

- The Life and Work of Katherine Mansfield Born as Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in Wellington, New Zealand in the year 1888, Katherine Mansfield has long been celebrated as New Zealand’s most influential and important writer. Daughter of Annie Dyer and Herold Beauchamp, Mansfield was born to a wealthy businessman and a mother who was often thought to have been “aloof”. Attending school at a young age, Mansfield went to Wellington GC as well as Miss Swainson’s private school before being sent to Queen’s college in London for a more formal education....   [tags: Biography Katherine Mansfield Essays]

Research Papers
3644 words (10.4 pages)

Author's Treatment of Fate and the Supernatural in Short Stories Written Before 1914

- Author's Treatment of Fate and the Supernatural in Short Stories Written Before 1914 Using a selection of short stories written before 1914, compare and contrast their authors’ treatment of fate and/or the supernatural I understand the term supernatural to be an event or being that is abnormal in some way and for which there is no rational explanation. Although traditionally the supernatural is confined to spiritual beings, such as ghosts, I perceive it to have a much wider meaning. I will be investigating how certain writers of short stories view the supernatural and how they adapt it into their stories....   [tags: Short Stories Yellow Wallpaper Lost Hearts Essays]

Free Essays
4270 words (12.2 pages)