How is the link between Mansfield’s personal views and experiences and the characters in her short stories reflected in her writing style? Today I will be talking about the similarities between Katherine Mansfield’s personal views, experiences and short stories. The portrayal of characters and their interactions in her short stories mirror many of her own relationships and experiences. I will be explaining how these parallels are reflected in the style of writing Mansfield uses. Although the stories were not completely identical to her real life experiences they were based on them and were strongly linked in the underlying themes.
“At The Bay” is a brief insight into the relationship of Mr and Mrs Kember, focusing more so on Mrs Kember. Mansfield’s rebellious attitude is seen in her character development of Mrs Kember as an exaggerated, more unrefined version of herself. The character is described by other women as being “very fast” and she “treated men as though she were one of them” creating the impression that she does not behave like a conventional woman was expected to in those days. She uses negatively connoted language to demonstrate the disapproval of the other women towards Mrs Kember which could symbolize how Mansfield disappointed her mother and eventually became estranged from her. Her unconventional behaviour is reflected in her use of contrasting imagery when she draws comparisons between Mrs Kember and the other women of the bay, such as Beryl. This contrasting imagery is portrayed through the women’s clothing and mannerisms. Beryl “steps out of her skirt and shed her jersey, and stood up in her short white petticoat, and her camisole with ribbon bows on the shoulders” whereas Mrs Kember “rose, yawned, unsnapped her belt buckle, and tugged at the tape of her blouse.” The way in which Beryl undresses shows she is graceful and proper while the image of ribbon bows gives alludes to her femininity. The way Mrs Kember undresses is brash and her...
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