Monday, March 7, 2011

The Doll's House by Katherine Mansfield

"But whatever our Else wore she would have looked strange. She was a tiny wishbone of a child, with cropped hair and enormous solemn eyes-a little white owl. Nobody had ever seen her smile; she scarcely ever spoke. She went through life holding on to Lil, with a piece of Lil's skirt screwed up in her hand."

I've heard a lot about Katherine Mansfield from Mel at The Reading Life--she's one of the main focuses of his blog--and from the blogging community in general. Out of curiosity, I decided to look her up, and was delighted when I learned that most, if not all, of her works are in the public domain and can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg.

The first short story I encountered was The Doll's House. The three Burnell girls, members of the elite in their rural community, are given a magnificent doll house. They allow all the girls at their school to see it, all except the two Kelveys--the daughters of the town washerwoman.

For me, the short story was very beautiful, written in elegant but direct language. I guess the short story shows us how social classes divide us, and how they influence our lives. In today's so-called modern society, social classes are still very distinct, something Mansfield demonstrated subtly in her short story.

I really enjoyed Katherine Mansfield's The Doll's house, and look forward to reading her other short stories.

10 comments:

Bex said...

I've only reas The Garden Party by her, but I have a collection of her short stories on my shelf that I may have to get around to sometime soon. I've been thinking about maybe reading a short story a day when I finish The Three Musketeers, to replace the two chapters a day i've been reading of that!

Lesa said...

Hi! Spotted you commenting about 2nd hand books over at Kristi Loves Books. I just started a bargain book linky party to celebrate all the great books that booklovers get at a discount. It is on Mondays, if you are ever interested in linking up some frugal bookish finds.

I enjoy shortstories and don't read them often enough. I have several anthologies in my TBR just staring at me!

This one sounds really good-- and in the public domain-- that is great. I'll look for it.

Trish said...

I love the books you're reading! I'm trying to catch up on some classics . . .

New follower :)

Stephanie M. Hasty said...

my favorite is called 'a cup of tea'...such a good story! :D

Zibilee said...

I have not heard of this story, but your quote was so descriptive that it intrigued me. This is something I am going to have to look up and try. Thanks!

Trisha said...

I recognize the name, but for the life of me I can't figure out what I've read of hers before....

llevinso said...

Just found your blog from a post at The Conscientious Reader. I really like your blog and am a new follower. I also blog a lot about classic literature.

simplerpastimes said...

I keep seeing Mansfield's name around--I don't think I've ever read anything by here, but it sure seems familiar. I'll have to add her to my TBR list--especially since I would like to start reading short stories.

Jennifer O. said...

Hi Darlyn! Just wanted to let you know that I've given you a One Lovely Blog Award!
You can find my post here at
http://litendeavors.blogspot.com/2011/03/one-lovely-blog-award.html. I've been reading your blog since I started mine about a month and a half ago and I haven't stopped since.

mel u said...

Darlyn-thanks so much for the mention-I do love Katherine Mansfield-I wantesed to give you this link to the author Margaret Drabble doing a pod cast of Mansfield's "The Doll House"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/audio/2010/dec/07/margaret-drabble-katherine-mansfield

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