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A Dill Pickle

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MayNard AcaIn

on 22 March 2015

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Transcript of A Dill Pickle

Analysis and Concept
After a six-year hiatus, a man and a woman who used to be lovers or close friends meet in a café. They reminisce about days gone by - the day they spent at the Kew Gardens together; he tells her about Russia and how class-free the society is; about how he liked to talk to her. Despite being poor and she being better-off (as when she would eat caviare), both of them regret not being friends any more. At the café, the man indirectly insults her for still being alone. The man tells her about his wonderful journeys and that he has accomplished the things they had said they would have done when they were together. She seems to have lost her earlier high status. Now the man seems to possess wealth however his manners still reflect his low status. He also claims or seems to perceive their love differently, for he thought that he loved her more, however the woman taking notice of him from the manner in which he did something shows the reader that she did love him. The man continues talking this time about how he studied the mind while he was in Russia and is unable to complete his sentence because he takes notice to his companion walking out on him. When it's time to pay he asks the waiter not to charge him for the cream since it was untouched.
A Dill Pickle
Katherine Mansfield lived an unorthodox life, especially considering the times she lived in. She grew up in New Zealand but later moved to England where she met, married, and left her first husband in the span of three weeks. During the same period, she got pregnant by a family friend but soon had a miscarriage. In 1911, she contracted gonorrhea, which left her racked with arthritis for the rest of her life. Her first short-story collection was not as successful as she hoped, so she wrote a much darker story, “The Woman at the Store,” which helped her achieve some of the success she so desired. It was not, however, until the end of her life that her writing matured and won her the respect of critics and the public.
Katherine Mansfield was born on October 14, 1888, in Wellington, New Zealand. After moving to England at age 19, Mansfield secured her reputation as a writer with the story collection Bliss (1920). She reached the height of her powers with her 1922 collection The Garden Party. Her last five years were shadowed by tuberculosis; she died from the disease on January 9, 1923, at the age of 34.
About the story
What's in it for us?
Katherine Mansfield
Mansfield was born in a well-to-do family and was first cousin to the author Countess Elizabeth von Arnim, who wrote The Enchanted April.

Before beginning her writing career, Mansfield was a cellist and at first sought her fortune as a professional musician.

Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary that Mansfield’s work was “the only writing I have ever been jealous of.”

Mansfield almost died of pleurisy after getting tuberculosis in 1917. In 1918, she had a major hemorrhage. She sought different treatments, many of which left her in worse shape than when she started.

New Zealand’s most prestigious short-story competition is named after Katherine Mansfield.
Writing Style
A Dill Pickle
Represents their spicy yet sour relationship.
Represents fertility; correlates with the story of Adam & Eve and the forbidden fruit. The man offers the fruit to her and it's almost like he is offering himself.
“What had she done! How had she dared to throw away her happiness like this. This was the only man who had ever understood her. Was it too late? Could it be too late? She was the glove that he held in his fingers..” ;
“and he caught up one of her gloves from the table and clutched at it as if that would hold her”
Little Girl in
White Dress
She represents virginity.
Buttoning and Unbuttoning of Vera's Collar
Represents how she vacillates between opening and closing herself up to him.
A. Even at first Vera was reluctant to having coffee with the man. “Won’t you have some coffee?” She hesitated, but of course she meant to. Than even more so towards the end of the story she wanted to leave but the man wouldn’t let her. Again at the legitimate end of the short story she gets up and leaves without even telling the man she was going.
B. Throughout their discussions a level of sexual energy is being developed within Vera. As she spoke she lifted her head as though she drank something: the strange beast in her bosom began to purr.
C. In the beginning even though Vera was a little reluctant to have coffee she still did it anyways. And as the time went along it seemed as though she kept getting more annoyed by the man. It got to the point where she just had to leave him.
A. We notice that the man never really grew up from the past. He is still living in the past unlike the woman. When he talks about how she is fond of music and she has no time for it. All he talks about is his past memories. Nothing about what is going on now.
*This is probably one of the things that annoyed Vera and made her leave.
B. The man near the end is trying to make Vera stay because he is very lonely. When meeting and talking to Vera, he realizes how lonely he actually is.
C. Whenever the woman remembers something that he is talking about, it seems as though he grows more comfortable or confident with himself.
*Possible crush on Vera because of the way he touches her/and talks to her.
1) Flashbacks
- the use of flashbacks parallel and represent the shifting feelings of Vera in the present as does her stream of consciousness
2) Stream of consciousness
- the use of memories
- positive vs. negative: he sees good side while she only sees the bad side; this is done to highlight Vera's feelings especially.
1. Feelings of loneliness
2. Difficulty establishing relationships
- Vera doesn't have a real connection with anybody else; she suffered in their relationship
3. Inability to feel or express love
4. Subjectivity of the human experience
5. Pessimism of modern life
- "egotists, so self-engrossed, so wrapped up in ourselves that we hadn’t a corner in our hearts for anybody else”;
- if you’re an egotistical person, your standards are too high for anybody else to follow through on; if your views of dating are different, you won’t have a good relationship or a strong connection with anybody else.
Let's Take a Quiz
•Love interest of the man in the story. She was the person who had caused the man to break his heart.
“And now I understand so perfectly why you wrote to me as you did. Although at the time that letter nearly finished my life.”
•Comes from a rich family
•The person who loved Vera. He had spent his past years, after breaking up with Vera, going in to different countries. His sad past changed him.
“He was certainly far better looking now than he had been then. He had lost all that dreamy vagueness and indecision. Now he had the air of a man who has found his place in life, and fills it with confidence and assurance, which was to say at least, impressive. He must have made money too. His clothes were admirable.”
•His affection towards Vera was so great.
“What I really wanted then,” he said softly, “was to be a sort of carpet, to make myself in to a sort of carpet for you to walk on so that you need not be hurt by the sharp stones and the mud that you hated so. “
“It was nothing more positive than that… nothing more selfish. Only I did desire, eventually, to turn into a magic carpet and carry you away to all those lands you longed to see. “
The importance of self-awareness. Be careful with what you say otherwise you may hurt the people around you

Show your love for the people around you because you never know when they'll be gone. Vera clearly felt guilt due to her bad relation ship with the male character because she felt she never showed affection toward him so I realized how important it is to show affection to the people around you.

Sometimes it's important to say what you feel. Vera and her male character wanted to say things they couldn't say like how much they loved each other and in the end they became separated once more without saying it.
Could Vera love the man?
What underlying reasons did occur to her during the stage of her wanting to leave the man?
Did the man still love her despite what she did to him?
Could there be a second chance for their relationship to sprout again if given the proper opportunity?
Who is the woman in the story?
What is her relation to the man?
What did the man offer her?
Where did they meet?
Who is the Author of "A Dill Pickle"?
What does the "Dill Pickle" symbolize?
Why did the man ask the waiter to not charge him for the cream?
When was the Author born?
What are the two writing styles used in the story?
What is the Main Theme of the Story?
1. Vera
2. Ex-boyfriend
3. Coffee
4. Cafe
5. Katherine Mansfield
6. Their spicy yet sour relationship.
7. Because it was not touched.
8. Flashback & Stream of Consciousness
9. October 14, 1888
10. Lost love.
Full transcript