katherine mansfield

Topics: Marriage, Gender, Husband Pages: 4 (1390 words) Published: September 15, 2014
Rosie Gorrie

Essay- writers consistently use short stories as a lens through which they scrutinise society.

Katherine Mansfield uses short stories as lens, to show how during the 1920's; in a society purely focused on keeping the old traditions alive and leaving new ways of thinking and change in the dark. Mansfield uses her short stories to uncover the harsh reality of gender biased marriages in which power and control were held by the male and how status and reputation allowed people to act a certain way and still be accepted by society. This enabled the males to dictate the family how they wanted to and power was a very desirable item to have in life; it also highlights how the women of the 1920's were very vulnerable and powerless due to the traditions which said that they couldn't work and make a life for themselves, making marriage their only way out to have a life.

Control means to have 'power to direct something or power over something', 'To exercise restraint or dominate over'. Stanley from Prelude shows his power by moving his family into the country. This decision is driven by his insecurities of status in society, that the only way to earn respect of his peers is to hold a large amount of land; and because he is the 'man' of the house, he holds the power over his family and doesn't consult with his wife or family but simply tells them that they are moving. Beryl, Linda's sister voices her thoughts to her friend in a letter, "the dreadful deed" refers to the move and how they don't "know a soul here" clearly depicts how isolated from the world the family feels being kept at the house all day and that no one would visit due to the only transport being the bus but that was never an option for any socialite to take. Although beryl lives with Stanley, she has no voice in the matters of the household and no power or control over her life and where she lives. The male dominated roles left no room for women to have an opinion other than their...
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