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Bliss by Katherine Mansfield

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by

Rachel Truland

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of Bliss by Katherine Mansfield

Bliss by Katherine Mansfield
Author
Literary Elements and Techniques
Discussion
Early Life
Born in 1888 to a prominant family in Wellington, New Zealand
1903 she moved to London and attended Queen's College with her sisters
Exceptional cello player, wrote for college newspaper and eventually became the editor
Career
She returned to New Zealand after her schooling and began to write short stories
She was tired of her families lifestyle and headed back to London
In 1908 after moving to London she lived a Bohemian lifestyle and traveled Europe, writing about her multiple failed relationships on the way
Inspiration for Bliss
Mansfield was known to have lesbian relationships in her lifetime.
She wrote a lot about sexuality because it was something that wasn't talked about in the early 1900's.
Characters
All of the characters are characterized through Bertha's thoughts.
Third person omniscient- He/she instead of I but the reader is also in side of Bertha's head
Theme
Irony
The day that Bertha is most blissful it is taken away by the knowledge of her husband's affair with Pearl.
Outside Connection
Questions
Why do you think the other characters are necessary to further the story as a whole?
What else could the pear tree represent?
How do you think people thought of Bliss after it was written?
Rachel Truland and Iain Bopp
Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp Murry
Death
Mansfield had multiple illnesses throughout her life. One being tuberculosis
She suffered a fatal pulmonary haemorrhage after running up a flight of stairs and she died on January 9, 1923 at 34 years old.
Setting
1920s
Urban location
Upper-middle class home
Bertha Young- the main character, age 30. She is very happy but is also naive. She is the only character that has genuine feelings for another character.
Harry Young-Bertha’s husband. Energetic and youthful. Is having an affair with Pearl Fulton.
Little Bertha-Bertha’s daughter who Bertha is extremely fond of.
Mr. and Mrs. Norman Knight-
Also referred to as “Mug” and “Face”. Mr. Norman Knight is a playwright and his wife is an interior designer. Two of the Dinner guests
Eddie Warren-a poet, recently popular, and another dinner guest.
Pearl Fulton-a very attractive blonde woman who Bertha is in love with and is the final dinner guest. She is the character that inspires the “bliss” that Bertha feels.
Point of View
Style
Katherine Mansfield uses dialogue and interior thought to describe a short period of time. The story only takes place over a few hours.
True blissfulness is short lived and can be lost by the slightest mistake.
Symbolism
Pear tree- represents a "pair" of people. At the end of the story it is still standing and beautiful meaning that there is hope Bertha and Harry will stay together.
Full transcript