Annotated Bibliography for Katherine Mansfield Research Paper
Alpers, Antony. “Katherine and Virginia, 1917-1923.” Critical Essays on Katherine
Mansfield. Nathan, Rhoda B., Ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993. Alpers examines the relationship between Mansfield and Woolf. There were some common events in their lives. The major one being that they were both feminist writers and suffered from “early wounds” (198). Their friendship started
off on rocky ground. Woolf usually greatly respected Mansfield‟s writing. Alpers
explains that Mansfield helped get Woolf out of her one novel mold. The conflict of their friendship came about because they were both writers, and Woolf feared the Mansfield would out writer her.
Cornut-Gentille D‟Arcy, Chantal. “Katherine Mansfield‟s „Bliss‟: „The Rare Fiddle‟ as
Emblem of the Political and Sexual Alienation of Woman.” Papers on Language
and Literature 35.3 (1999): p244-270. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost.
Hewes Coll. Lib., Monmouth, IL. 2 Mar. 2003. Chantal examines “Bliss” through
Marxist criticism. This is done by explaining the wife‟s role in society, following
with their economic dependence on men. Chantal goes farther to compare the nursery with capitalist power. The idea is that the nurse is simply seen as an emotionless worker, who does not want the upper class mother in the way of performing her work. This can also be seen as two women who are dominated by the patriarchal society. Mixed within the Marxist criticism are some feminist and psychological views.
Dilworth, Thomas. “Monkey Business: Darwin, Displacement, and Literary Form in
Katherine Mansfield‟s „Bliss. ‟” Studies in Short Fiction 35.2 (1998): p141-153.
Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. Hewes Coll. Lib., Monmouth, IL. 2 Mar. 2003. Dilworth looks at Mansfield‟s “Bliss” and questions why there is not much
criticism on it. He begins examining the story by starting with Bertha‟s desire for
Miss Fulton and her husband. Dilworth explains that Bertha‟s desires follow a
certain flow of “narcissistic, female other, and male spousal” (2). He argues that
other critics claim that Bertha shifts her homosexual desires onto her husband are wrong. He then goes into a discussion on the influence of Darwinism on the story. He highlights that Bertha has sexual desires for the primary male, her husband, but she loses him to another female.
Dunbar, Pamela. “What Does Bertha Want?: A Re-reading of Katherine Mansfield‟s
„Bliss. ‟” Critical Essays on Katherine Mansfield. Nathan, Rhoda B., Ed. New
York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993. Dunbar follows the story tracing Bertha‟s sexuality. She points out the developing desire through several key
events. The first of which is Bertha‟s obsession with decorating the fruit. The tree
also becomes a symbol of Bertha‟s sexuality. Then when Bertha and Fulton look
at the pear tree, Bertha becomes sexually interested in both her friend and husband. The ending comes with a denial of both of these options, repressing Bertha‟s sexual needs.
Hanson, Clare. “Katherine Mansfield.” The Gender of Modernism: A Critical
Anthology. Scott, Bonnie Kime, Ed. Indianapolis: University of Indiana Press, 1990. Hanson‟s writing is more of a biographical outline of Mansfield‟s life.
Hanson says that Mansfield began her career looking for a male “protector” and
found one in Murry. Many writers found Mansfield‟s writing to be too feminine,
which led many to dismiss it. Hanson also plainly states that Mansfield was a modern feminist writer, who could stand up to the male modernists of the time.
Heilman, Robert B. Modern Short Stories: A Critical Anthology. New York: Harcourt,
Brace and Company, Inc., 1950. Heilman offers a description of “Bliss” as an
atmosphere story. He believes that the descriptions of feeling and setting are the key elements Mansfield was trying to get across. Heilman believes looking at the story from objective criticism is the best way to reveal the meaning of the story because outside criticism disrupts the meaning.
McFall, Gardner. “Poetry and Performance in Katherine Mansfield‟s „Bliss‟.” Critical
Essays on Katherine Mansfield. Nathan, Rhoda B., Ed. New York: Macmillan
Publishing Company, 1993. MacFall begins by explaining that the reader needs to examine “Bliss” by closing reading the way in which a poem is read. MacFall
describes how Mansfield‟s story was influenced by Shelley‟s poem “The
Question” and how the image of flowers was added to the pear tree. Mansfield‟s
emotional connection to the poem relates to her longing for Murry. MacFall points out that Mansfield‟s definition of bliss is similar to other works, and yet it
has an undertone of human failure. Also that the elements Mansfield uses with language and theme in “Bliss” are not new to her stories.
Murfin, Ross, and Ray, Supryia M. “Feminist Criticism.” The Bedford Glossary of
Critical and Literary Terms. New York: Bedford/ St. Martin‟s, 1998. The
description of feminist criticism revealed several of the elements feminist critics look for when examining women‟s writing. Some of these elements are semiotic
language compared to symbolic language, themes in which women challenge patriarchal authority, and women‟s sexuality.
Neaman, Judith S. “Allusion, Image, and Associative Pattern: The Answers in
Mansfield‟s „Bliss. ‟” Critical Essays on Katherine Mansfield. Nathan, Rhoda B.,
Ed. New York: Macmillian Publishing Company, 1993. Neaman examines the two major works that influenced “Bliss,” which are the Bible and Twelfth Night. She explains that many critics miss the important relationship between Genesis and the pear tree. Neaman looks at how the tree is a symbol of knowledge, and how once Bertha gains knowledge she falls, becoming submissive and longing for her husband. The second work was Twelfth Night, and Neaman shows how Bertha‟s confusion about her sexuality comes from Shakespeare‟s work. This explains the reasoning behind Bertha‟s heterosexual and homosexual love.
Tulis, David J. “Chapter III: The Critics.” The “Bliss” of Reading. Knoxville, TN: The
University of Tennessee, 1986. Tulis began by explaining the readers feelings of anti-bliss at the end of “Bliss.” He then goes into discussing the imagery of
Bertha feeling cold until her desire fan fires. Tulis examines how some critics make the symbolic connection between Bertha‟s desires and the pear tree. His
observation on the pear tree comes from examining the tree as losing its symbolic meaning at the end of the story. He also explains the feminist view of the tree being a phallic symbol. Tulis also discusses Bertha‟s sexual desires concerning
her husband and Miss Fulton.