The man, the woman, and the yordle

Essay by TwijplsUniversity, Ph.D.A+, October 2014

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Ali Murtadha Commentary on an extract from Katherine Mansfield's "Bliss" G11 A SL

The extract given comes from the story "Bliss" by Katherine Mansfield. The events of the extract take place in the text after Bertha tries to spend some time with her daughter, Little B, and has her forcibly taken by the nanny. Also right before the given text comes a small phone conversation between Bertha and her husband Harry, where Harry tells her to prepare for the upcoming dinner party that takes place in the extract. The events of the extract revolve mainly around Bertha's thoughts before the dinner party, while preparing for it.

The mood changes multiple times throughout the extract. To note is that the story is told from Bertha's perspective - in third-person - meaning that Mansfield effectively also grants us insight on Bertha's own feelings in addition to the mood (though this is not always the case, the notable exception being speech from another character); another thing to note is that the mood is conveyed mainly through connotations.

At the beginning of the extract, the mood set is quite happy, or perhaps excited, which can be seen by the use of several positive connotations in the first paragraph (for example, "sound" in reference to the Norman Knights, "love" on the topic of Bertha's interest in Pearl). The mood changes when Bertha delves more deeply into the topic of Pearl, remembering a conversation she had had with Harry regarding Pearl. Here, the connotations turn negative, with words like "cold" and "disease", turning the mood to a slightly sullen one. However, the negative words mentioned above come from Harry, in Bertha's flashback of the conversation, and the mood noticeably changes back to an upbeat one once Bertha exits the flashback...