The Doll's House Literary Analysis

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Here's the literary analysis for the Doll's House, make sure you check it out!

Submitted: February 26, 2019

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Submitted: February 26, 2019

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The Doll's House is a short story by Katherine Mansfield. This story emphasizes the theme of class discrimination and the magnitude of imbalance it creates in society. It also shows that children being influenced by the idea of class discrimination is actually a reflection of the principles adults in their environment display on this subject. Interestingly, an aspect that might go unnoticed in this story is that the author uses the dollhouse and its assets to actually symbolize the society's "upper class" and the Burnell family. The author tries to communicate the negative view people have on the less wealthy families and the effect it has on them.

Firstly, when the Burnell's receive the luxurious dollhouse, it reeks of paint and this is made evident through the quote "The smell of paint was quite enough to make anyone ill", this tells us that no matter how magnificent something looks it still has its own flaws and so do the "elite" members of the society who are engraved in the assumption that they are much superior to the average people. Something that looks perfect or flawless really isn't and it is not different from the norm.

Moreover, Kezia, who is different from the other Burnell's, in the sense that she is against class discrimination, thinks that the lamp in the dollhouse "real" compared to the other objects. The lamp, compared to the other objects, is indeed ordinary and not of much significance to many. It is also most overlooked on. This symbolizes the working class people, the lamp is important because it lights up the flamboyant dining table and without the lamp, it would look dull. Likewise, the people of the working class put in a lot of effort and work for the upper-class so they could yield all these luxurious items, the real work is done by the "working" class people and in this regard, the lamp is real.

Lastly, when showcasing the dollhouse, Isabel and many others ignore the lamp and focus on other, more elegant, assets of the dollhouse. The carpets, the bed, and the bedclothes all symbolize the luxury that comes along with being rich and the less fortunate ones are overlooked on. This is the view most people have on the people who belong to a different class.

In conclusion, the story not only displays the difficulties that the Kelvey's (working class people) go through but also the impact discrimination has on them. The author relays the importance of being acceptant of a person who belongs to a different class and it does not make them much different. The importance of this is displayed through the symbolism.


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