Katherine Mansfield - Analyse how actions or dialogue helped you understand the character of Frau Brechenmacher("Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding")and Mrs Sheridan("The Garden Party")

Essay by pinkcoffee July 2006

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In Katherine Mansfield's "Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding" and "The Garden Party", two female characters in similar positions- the position of mother and wife- are described. Despite their shared role, the two women - Frau Brechenmacher and Mrs Sheridan- are two very different individuals and their characteristics are understood through Mansfield's careful depiction of their actions and dialogues

In the short story "Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding", the Frau is a woman worn down by domestic work. Her daily life consists of taking care of her five babies, and attending to her dominant husband. Throughout the story Frau Brechenmacher is constantly servicing her husband. Before the wedding, she polished and ironed his outfit, and prepared water and towel for him to wash his face with as soon as he return home. After the Herr has dressed, the Frau groomed him, 'straining at the waist buckle and giving him a little pull here, a little tug there.'

She also rushed to put her children to bed and dress herself. Frau Brechenmacher is suppressed by the needs of her husband and family. She dresses in the dark because her husband 'needs the light.' 'She had not been out of the house weeks past' being so busy with caring for the family. The busy works of the day 'flurried her that she felt muddled and stupid' the writer describes the stress effect of the lack of power the Frau suffers from. After the wedding , she returns home from a tiring day only to again service her husband, ' prepar[ing] a little supper of meat and bread for her man' and ' taking up the discarded boots' which the Herr had ' flung[ed]...into a corner', ' placing them on the over to dry.' Lastly, before she sleeps, she checked her...