The story is written by Katherine Mansfield ÃÂ a famous New Zealand writer. She is well known for her short stories. The analysis of the one of them called ÃÂA Cup of TeaÃÂ (1922) which is considered to be one of her latest works you can find below.
From the first lines we get acquainted with the protagonist of the story ÃÂ Rosemary Fell. Her appearance is being presented. ÃÂNo you couldnÃÂt have called her beautiful Pretty?ÃÂ We have rather vague image here. The author writes she is amazingly well-read in the newest of the books which sounds controversial.
Her husband adores her; her child is a duck of a boy. We can trace that she is extremely arrogant and she has a certain amount of charisma. ÃÂNo lilac. ItÃÂs got no shape. The attendant put the lilac out of sight as though this was only too true.ÃÂ But even fabulously rich people have their problems.
After shutting the discreet door she sinks into a grey cold and dull life of the city, the life of ordinary people to which she is like an alien. A cold bitter taste in the air, sad lamps, regretting fire of lamps, rushing people and their hateful umbrellas ÃÂ everything speaks of her inner dissatisfaction and maybe allergy to the other life, the life which is outside her shelter. She wants to escape from the place and presses a muff against her breast as though touching herself and saying ÃÂI want to be back to my real life not this awful parody of beingÃÂ.
Suddenly a girl stammered as author writes for the price of a cup of tea in a very desperate way. But in fact Rosemary is amazed instead of feeling some kind of sympathy. She peers through the dusk as though feeling some distance and it seems to her such an adventure. Rosemary doesnÃÂt spare even a smallest moment of her thought to stand in the girls shoes or rather she just canÃÂt since she doesnÃÂt know the opposite side of the coin. The only way of living she knows is one that is in the little antique shop on Curzon Street or, say, another one on Bond Street.
So Rosemary takes her home feeling a triumph as she nets a little captive. ItÃÂs evident that Rosemary is just playing with a prey like a cat does.ÃÂNow, I got youÃÂ. Rosemary is longing to be generous and is going to prove that as Mansfield writes ÃÂwonderful things do happen in lifeÃÂ, in the life of the upper class, to which Rosemary is a fine example, and it seems that the only things she cares about are her feelings and amusement.
After they arrive at the house the action starts in RosemaryÃÂs bedroom. Mansfield is trying to underline RosemaryÃÂs status ÃÂ ÃÂthe fire leaping on her wonderful lacquer furnitureÃÂ, ÃÂgold cushionsÃÂ all these things dazed the poor girl. Rosemary on her part was very relaxed and pleased; she lit a cigarette in stead of taking proper care of Miss Smith. By the way her name is not even mentioned yet, like itÃÂs of no importance at all. We can find the girl on the brink of the psychological despair. ÃÂI am going to faint, to go off, madam.ÃÂ So much she is stuck by the contrast. ÃÂIt was a terrible fascinating moment. Rosemary knelt beside her chairÃÂ The girl becomes completely restless: ÃÂI canÃÂt bear it. I shall do away with myselfÃÂ Rosemary is ÃÂreally touched beyond wordsÃÂ but suddenly she asks her to stop crying ÃÂItÃÂs so exhausting. Please stop cryingÃÂ Rosemary shows her true face here. She canÃÂt face the reality the poor as it is; Rosemary Fell sees everything in rose-coloured spectacles, through the filter of the upper class society. And it looks if not pathetic then quite sad.
But after the marvelous meal our creature transforms into something undeniably attractive ÃÂ ÃÂfrail creature, a kind of sweet languorÃÂ. And for Rosemary itÃÂs high time to begin. Instead of asking her name or other decent question RosemaryÃÂs firstly was interested in her meal, it is quite impolite.
The Philip enters, smiling his charming smile and asks his wife to come in to the library. He requires explanations from his wife, learning that the girl is as Rosemary says ÃÂa real pick upÃÂ that Rosemary wanted ÃÂto be nice to herÃÂ. Philip guesses what is all about shows his remonstrance against the idea ÃÂit simply canÃÂt be doneÃÂ. And then he uses his heavy artillery ÃÂ calls miss Smith ÃÂso astonishingly prettyÃÂ. He knows it will do some harm to his wife. These words immediately heat jealousy in RosemaryÃÂs veins up. ÃÂPretty? Do you think that?ÃÂ and she could help blushing. ÃÂSheÃÂs absolutely lovely!ÃÂ Rosemary looses her temper ÃÂYou absurd creature!ÃÂ She recollects his words over and over. And all leads to the phrase ÃÂMiss Smith wonÃÂt dine with us tonightÃÂ We can observe that Philip doesnÃÂt seem to look surprised ÃÂOh, what happened? Previous engagement?ÃÂ he rather knew it would happen. Rosemary is eager to retain her husbandÃÂs attention.ÃÂDo you like me?ÃÂ May I have the enamel box? ÃÂPhilip, am I pretty?ÃÂThe Rosemary seems to be so distant from poverty but on the other hand she doesnÃÂt have anything really valuable, like a basement to lead such glorious life in this world ÃÂ no taste, no wish to see the world in the raw, sometimes no manners, and perhaps even no prettiness. ThatÃÂs why she is trying to have things and do things which would help to retain the status like knowing more about the poor and having beautiful things to be associated with. To put in a nutshell the story is reach in different stylistic devices and I think conveys a distinct and valuable message.
Bibliography1.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Mansfield2.http://www.studyguide.org/mansfield_cup_of_tea.htm3.Microsoft ÃÂ® Encarta ÃÂ® 2009. ÃÂ© 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
4.English by Correspondence Vesnik D.A. Moscow, 1976