Biographical Preference of Katherine Mansfield Essay Example

  • Category: All About Art, Art,
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  • Published: 17 June 2021
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Katherine Mansfield is a short story/fiction writer. She was born October 14, 1888 in New Zealand. Her birth name is Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp. Her personal friends and family called her, Kass, Katherina, Katie, Catherine, Katharina, Katherina, Kissineka, or K.X.. Her father, Harold Beauchamp, is a New Zealand banker. Her mother, Annie Beauchamp, is the first woman to vote. She has a brother, Leslie Heron Beauchamp, was in the military. She has 5 sisters who are Jeanne Beauchamp, Charlotte  Beauchamp, Vera Beauchamp, Gwendoline Beauchamp, and Jeanne Worthington Renshaw. She attended Queen’s College from 1903 to 1906. While attending Queen’s College she learned to play the cello and became an excellent player.

Katherine persuade a career in become a writer and wrote many short stories and fiction. She enjoyed it a lot. She published her first volume in 1911. “She later destroyed most of her diaries and journal from 1906 to 1912, leaving Murry ‘no doubt whatever that the once ardent disciple of the doctrine of living dangerously came eventually to regard much of her eagerly sought experience ... as waste--destruction too’”(Gindin). Katherine published her second volume in December 1920. She was able to publish three more volumes before her death.

Diagnosed with tuberculosis in December of 1917, Mansfield still wrote her stories and never gave up her dream. She was able to write her fourth volume, but was never published because she died before completing it. Mansfield died on January 9, 1923 in Fontainebleau, France. 

Katherine Mansfield: Modern Short Story Writer

“When she heard that Mansfield had died, [Virginia] Woolf wrote in her diary: ‘I was jealous of her writing--the only writing I have ever been jealous of’”(Gingin). Woolf was jealous of Mansfield's writing because when Mansfield sites her short stories she writes with passion and desire. She uses characteristics of the modern and romantic period in her short stories. One modern characteristic is modernism and she uses it in “Bliss.” She also uses nature to show the growth of her characters. She uses her exploration of femininity and work class to show how women had suffered or dominated the world in those days. She also talks about the Great War and how it impacts her in her stories. Because of her use of imagery, her exploration of femininity, and her concern with working class, Katherine Mansfield is an excellent example of a modern writer as illustrated through her short Stories "A Dill Pickle, and "Bliss."

Modernism Movement

Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Katherine uses modernism to write her short stories. She talks about her life and the life of others. She also uses it to show what life really is and how people's life are affected. For example her life she went through two marriages and had a miscarriage. She also talks about how she lost her brother in her short story “Bliss”. She also writes about her life when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Her life was really affected by the fact that she lost her brother and being diagnosed, but that did not stop her from writing her short stories and publishing them. This showed her passion for writing short stories.    

In most of Mansfield’s short stories, she brings up a garden of some sort. In many of her writings, the garden referred to the place where most of her female characters grew from their usual roles as females. She uses the growth to show the growth of her stories as well and society back in the days. Females back then had to take care of their families and house.  As Katherine wrote her short stories the female society started to stand up for themselves and proved to the world who they were. Katherine wanted to show how much society changed.  

Katherine used the her exploration of femininity to show how much women have suffered and how much they are starting to show their true colors. Women were slowly able to work and in “Bliss”, the main character was in charge of making a party. Its shows how much women are starting to get involved in society and in nature in general. Women back then had a hard life and how they are treated poorly. Now a days women are still treated poorly, but at least they can work and go to school. Femininity back then was not fair in so many ways that they are hard to describe. Katherine had married three times and of the two she had a divorce. She expresses this in most of her stories.

In Mansfield’s stories the system of the working class is brought up. Mansfield talks about how the system of the working class is affecting lives. Mansfield show in her stories how her characters are growing in the working class. The women went from not being able to work to being able to work. There was two time periods were the writers attempted to write about the working class but it did not work. Those time periods are 1840s and 1850s. Twelve of Katherine’s stories include working class. Some of those stories only talk about the violence about the working class. Most of her stories, talk about the escape from reality. Mansfield is interested in the working class but is unable to represent ir.        

Family Issues

In the Great War Mansfield accidently lost her brother in an accidental grenade explosion. She was still shocked after hearing the news. A lot of Katherine’s went to and of all of the friends who went none returned alive. “The Great War impacted the gender system. Katherine and other writers wondered how and if the Great War prompted the construction of femininity and masculinity”(Darrohn). The moods of her writing would range from stoic acceptance to profound depression. Her new dedication to writing about the New Zealand of her girlhood is a way to resurrect her brother. “Mansfield is puzzling over the invasive mobility of this death. Mansfield’s words afterlearing about her brother’s death: ‘I don’t believe it; he was not the kind to die’” (Onans).  The Great War had the most fearsome technology. Although war is a crucial context for this figure, it is a deeply buried one. The Great War was a good, but bad thing to Katherine and she learned from it and made multiple stories for it. The Great War really impacted Mansfield and her writing.

“When I think of Mansfield’s stories, what come to me first of all are the images of the things actual or virtual in the stories world”(Perkins ). Emotions in Mansfield writing is very important because if there was not then the would not make sense. Every writer have has their  own scales and palettes. “A Dill Pickle” uses the memory of the characters’ childhood as a way to spike the characters’ emotion (Diamond). Emotion is the thing you feel towards things. Katherine likes to show her emotion towards society and how it is changing. In “Bliss” the characters show depression and sadness over the death of the men from war. Emotions can affect the whole story or even part of the story.  Although Katherine is an excellent writer, her emotion is the key to her stories. Katherine writing has impactful means to them that we all will need to understand and appreciate them.

As illustrated through her short Stories "A Dill Pickle, and "Bliss" and her use of imagery, her exploration of femininity, and her concern with working class, Katherine Mansfield is an excellent example of a modern writer. She uses characteristics of the modern and romantic period in her short stories. One modern characteristic is modernism and she uses it in “Bliss.” She also use nature to show the growth of her characters. She uses her exploration of femininity and work class to show how women had suffered or dominated the world in those days. She also talks about the Great War and how it impacted her in her stories.

 

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