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Bliss and Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield and Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin I have associated all the stories with a sense of female repression.

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Introduction

In what ways do writers use language to reflect a theme of female repression in two or three stories you've studied? On studying the texts Bliss and Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield and Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin I have associated all the stories with a sense of female repression. All the short stories feature a main female character and this character is being repressed in various ways such as by another character or their lives in general. In all the stories the awareness of repression appears towards the end mainly due to an event that has taken place. This event brings forth a realisation of their lives, which is so far from the rest of the story. The realisation that occurs in 'Bliss' is that Bertha finds out that her husband, Harry, is having an affair. Throughout the rest of the short story Bertha appears overly happy and joyous. This is shown through Mansfield's choice of language predominantly at the start of the story. Examples of this are things such as 'she wanted to run instead of walk...' and '...is there no way you can express it without being "drunk and disorderly". ...read more.

Middle

This line has a major relevance to her repression as these people she is describing, she is one of them, yet she doesn't realise it till the end. The realisation occurs towards the end when the heroine, the girl made an unpleasant comment about Miss Brill. Miss Brill, who is obviously listening soon comes to a realisation that not everyone is as kind as her and she is, in fact one of them old people. This ties in with repression as she is repressed and constrained by her lifestyle; she does the same thing week after week and does not break the routine. Miss Brill also, always listens and never speaks I have come to realise from looking at the text. This was easy to realise due to the lack of speech, as the majority of the story is her thoughts. 'Story of an hour' also has the theme of a revelation taking place at the end. I believe that the revelation in this case was much more extreme. Mrs Mallard actually dies because of what is revealed to her. This story uses the opposite emotions to the other two. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example of this is that she is not in control of the situation with her baby and its nanny. She has no control over what is done with the baby and seems afraid to ask if she is allowed to hold her own baby. 'Bertha wanted to ask...' showing she didn't ask but would have liked to. She is being restrained by the nanny into having a full motherly relationship with her child. One example of how Harry subdues her is how he bullies her into believing Pearl is a dull, boring, and a typical blonde. Harry seems to have obtained the ability to demystify and trick Bertha. Which is a sign he has been doing this for a while and he has become quite expert at it. I think Mansfield did this to prepare the reader slightly for what is going to happen at the end n the revelation that is the affair. The theme of repression therefore runs throughout these stories all written by female authors that have a female view on the world. It is typical of female characters to make men out to be the cruel characters and the women who are the vulnerable main characters who are being repressed. Rachael Dunderdale AS ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LITERATURE - Unit 3a: Shorter Fiction Study ...read more.

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