A Cup of Tea
Understanding The Topic in Katherine Mansfield’s Book, A Cup of Tea
The main theme of Katherine Mansfield’s “A Cup of Tea” is the selfishness often displayed by rich, arrogant women of the British aristocracy. Set in turn-of-the-century England, rigid social classes separate the rich and the poor. As a member of the upper class, the story’s protagonist Rosemary Fell lives a luxurious life. Her encounter with Miss Smith, a young beggar, exemplifies the rich woman’s need to constantly be pleased. Rosemary’s exclusive shopping habits, romanticism of the poor, and frivolous requests expose her self-serving personality.
Although the rich are considered to have everything, human nature rarely allows people to be completely satisfied. As a wealthy woman, Rosemary needs everything of hers to be better than what is already considered exquisite. While most wealthy ladies shopped in posh London, “if Rosemary wanted to shop, she would go to Paris”(1036). By wanting to imitate the characters in her Dostoyevsky novels, Rosemary takes Miss Smith home simply because she believes “it would be thrilling”(1037), and she will be the only one of her friends able to share a story about rescuing an impoverished woman. Even though Rosemary decides that 28 guineas is excessive for an ornamental box “even if one is rich”(1036), she later asks her husband for the money to purchase the box and he refers to her as a “little wasteful one”(1041). Rosemary Fell’s excessive desires seem to never be fulfilled and she continues to strive for an exquisite quality of life.
As a selfish and spoiled member of the aristocracy, Rosemary fails to value life outside of corporeal pleasures. Her shopping locations must exceed those of other rich ladies, her service to others is a result of an internal desire to be thrilled, and she is interested in owning things not because she needs them, but because she craves materialistic superiority over others. These characteristics portray to the reader the superficiality of both Rosemary and the rich as a whole. This egocentric way of life led by many of the rich in England actually leaves them feeling unfulfilled, ironically putting them on an equal or lower level spiritually than the poor. Although many believe money will solve their unhappiness, Rosemary Fell substantiates the inaccuracy in that belief.
Human Nature in A Cup of Tea, a Novel by Amy Ephron
Ephron, Amy.A Cup of Tea. New York: Ballantine Books
A Cup Of Tea by Amy Ephron is a tragic romance.this story takes place in new York City. The Time Period of this story is between 1917 and 1918. this is a story of love and betrayal.
Rosemary fell is from a wealthy family that spoiled her.growing up in luxury and then marrying into wealth, Rosemary had to keep up an image of class and suffixation. Do to her way of life Rosemary never knew what life was really like, therefor she never knew what it was like to live without a man maintaining her. Philip Aslop was Rosemarys husband. He was a very wealthy man who owned his own business. Not only was he a wealthy man but an officer in the army. He was a very formal man with a very formal marriage arrangement.
Eleanor smith is poor. She also is very modest, she knows that to have somthing in life she must work harder then most, do to the life she was born into.working hard made her very down to earth and self-assured. being with Eleanor, philip Aslop would become a differint person. He would become very informal and open.
Rosemary, Elaeanor and Phillip all met for the first time when Rosemary saw Elaenor on the street and brought her home. Rosemary saw this as a chance to do something good for the sisiter hood of women. Right away when Phillip saw Eleanor he was captivated by her. After Rosmary helped Eleanor, Eleanor found a job making and selling hats. Eleanor aslo starting living at a bording house for young ladies. Phillip found out where she worked and lived and didn’t hesitate to go after her. Little by little Eleanor feel in love with Phillip. When Phillip would go look for Eleanor he made her feel special like she was the only one. This feeling came to an abrupet end when she saw the wedding announcment of Phillip and Rosemary on the newspaper. Eleanor broke it off with Phillip not beacuase she was the other women, thid she knew all along, but because she folish for falling for a taken man.
Phillip, from the moment he met Eleanor he grew distant from Rosemary. Phillip recieved his oders and bumped up the wedding so he could go to war the next day. Phillip was confused with not having Eleanor, going to war, and his arrangment with Rosemary but with no choice in the matter he just went to war. While at war Eleanor found out she was pregnant. Eleanor moved into an apartment with her firend Josie beacuse they couldnt say who she was pregnant by. Both Josie and Eleanor would say that she was getting married to Josies brother who was off at war. Eleanor did not know this. when Rosemary was tolled about Phillip being MIA she was tolled he died but a body was never found. Rosemary refused to believe it and an unease Rosemary became irrational. Some time later Rleanor found out about Philli, she cried became sad but let it go and moved on. When Rosemary was at her worst and had hired a psychice to see if Phillip spirit was on the other side Phillip knocked on the door. It didn’t take Phillip to long before he went to go see Eleanor. She was pushing her baby in a stroller when when Phillip got there. Right away he knew that the baby was his. Phillip couldn’t be without Eleanor no longer. He tolled her to wait for him, that he would be back for good, that he would tell Rosemaryhe was leaving her. When Phillip arrived home he asked Rosemary to the bedroom and tolled her he was leaving to be with Eleanor. Rosemary couldn’t take this news and went crazy telling him that if she could’t have him no one would, and stabbed him in the throat. Phillip died and Rosemary went to prison. Eleanor who had made dinner for herself and her new man was left waiting. It was not until later she saw in the newspaper that Phillip was killed.
The author’s purpose in writing this story was to show how in most elegant stories human nature is not that. Also that if the person is not honest and treturouse, love could be cruel and hurtful. She wants people to understand how beautifu; being in love is when there is no games betrail or lies.
The best aspect of this novel is heartbreak. Heartbrake makes this novel good because every one goes through it at least once in there life time. One example of heartbreak is when Eleanor finds out that Phillip died at war and she is left without the person she loves and her baby’s father. Another example of heart break in this novel is when Phillipcame back from being in a pow camp to tell Rosemary he is leaving her for Eleanor and she kills him for it.