The Dolls House Essay by Katherine Mansfield

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Professor No name
English 101
03 April 2012
True Power
In the short story “The Doll’s House,” written by Katherine Mansfield, there are three little girls that receive a doll house from a family friend that is a “perfect, perfect little house” (Mansfield). The two main characters in the story are the Burnell sisters, Isabel, the eldest daughter, and Kezia who live in a small village. The hierarchy is very apparent in this town, just like in every other little town there are almost always those who are on top, those who are in the middle and those who are on the bottom of the power structure. Not only is it the adults that are aware of this structure, but the children are as well. This story proves that the power structure is not induced by how hard of a worker one may be, or what kind of contributions one may make for the village, it is all based upon wealth and possessions. In this story we see how the doll house is used to enforce the social hierarchy in this small little village. At the bottom of the social hierarchy we have the Kelveys, Lil Kelvey and our Else: “They were the daughters of a spry, hardworking little washerwoman, who went about from house to house by the day” (Mansfield). Because of this ranking, “Many of the children, including the Burnells, were not allowed to even speak to them” (Mansfield). They were treated different by everybody in the town, “Even the teacher had a special voice for them” (Mansfield). No one knew what was to be said of Mr. Kelvey, “But everybody said he was in prison” (Mansfield). This was yet another reason they were at the bottom of the social hierarchy it was an excuse to reinforce power structure. To the village they were not, “Very nice company for other people’s children!” (Mansfield). This is an excellent paragraph, with a strong use of primary source materials in support of your contentions. Isabel is the one who uses the power of the doll house to show she is at the top of this social...
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