Katherine Mansfield's Taking the Veil Analisys

Page 1 of 2

Katherine Mansfield's Taking the Veil Analisys

By | November 2007
Page 1 of 2
Her talent was unique among us. . . . Her work stirs and excites us, and so quietly; it is an expression of the mood in love with life. It has the rare flavor that endures. Beautiful work! John Galsworthy

Katherine Mansfield is widely considered one of the best short story writers of her period. A number of her works, including "Miss Brill", "Prelude", "The Garden Party", "The Doll's House", and later works such as "The Fly", are frequently collected in short story anthologies. Mansfield also proved ahead of her time in her adoration of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, and incorporated some of his themes and techniques into her writing. The fact that Mansfield died relatively young only added to her legacy. One of the stories from of one of her latest short story collections "The Dove's Nest", which she wrote shortly after her first hemorrhage, is called "Taking the Veil". It gives the perspective of a character whose story is told in the 3rd person entirely through the young woman's unspoken thoughts and memories. The heroine of the story, 18-year-old Edna suddenly became very unhappy. She thought she loved Jimmy, her boyfriend she knew from since her childhood and moreover they had been engaged for a year, but last night she went to the theatre and fell in love with an actor. She realized that if she did not marry Jimmy she would marry nobody because it would be very odd. Of course the only thing left for her to do is to take the veil. Then she realized as she vividly pictured this future of her, asperity and hardships and then a death in the odor of sanctity that she really did love Jimmy after all. In this story we can observe the very characteristic of Mansfield's style – its objective, impersonal quality. The author doesn't comment upon her personage, she lets us judge for ourselves on her speech, and, of course, on petty details which Mansfield masterly gives in abundance. In this very story she resorts to a device more common for John Galsworthy's...