Essay on The Doll ‘s House By Katherine Mansfield

Sorrow and angst swirled inside; Elsie and Lil captivated me by their strength. Society can have a profound impact on a child’s view and perceptions of the world, dictating the cultural norms on how we treat those in different social classes. In The Doll’s House by Katherine Mansfield, we see the theme of class distinction and the influences a parent has on how children view the world. Furthermore, society’s norms impact upon Kezia, Elsie and Lil.

Prejudice and discriminating attitudes towards others have not yet influenced the innocence a child possesses towards the world; this can clash with the ideals developed by adults through society. The children and adults demonstrate this conflict throughout the story; Kezia struggles with the notion of wanting to befriend Elsie and Lil, while society’s expectations scold her for doing so; “Mother,” said Kezia, “can ‘t I ask the Kelveys just once?”, “Certainly not, Kezia.” (Mansfield 72). Nevertheless, when Kezia invites the Kelvey girls inside the courtyard to catch a glimpse of the miraculous doll house, Kezia protests against her family’s ideals that they have tried to instill in her; that social classes should not intermingle and those that fall beneath the Burnell’s social status are not privileged enough to associate with. In light of this, we see the innocence fade from Kezia, she considered all children to be equal; however, after this situation she realizes perhaps this is not the case.

A person’s upbringing contributes to the attitude they hold towards the world; these teachings continue to the next generations. Not only is Aunt Beryl part of the upper class, she feels entitled, and has little concern for the feelings of others, treating those less fortunate with…

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…deserve more respect and kindness. Instead of trying to mold the children’s mind to accept everyone equally, she supports the social division. Moreover, this encourages the other children to follow in a similar way, acknowledging this is an acceptable way of treating those that are less fortunate.

Katherine Mansfield’s The Doll’s House; demonstrates the struggle between social classes and the cruelty found in this distinction. Although this is evident in society, displaying kindness towards another can significantly improve everyone’s quality of life, as social status should not divide society or influence how society treats those less fortunate. In conclusion, the conflict between adults and children’s idealism not only relates to this story; we find it many aspects of life and is an issue that children have to navigate through as they develop into adulthood.

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