• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is the story "Daughters of the late Colonel" more comic than tragic for the reader overall? Be sure to comment on Mansfield's use of language.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is the story "Daughters of the late Colonel" more comic than tragic for the reader overall? Be sure to comment on Mansfield's use of language. The story "Daughters of the late Colonel", written by Katherine Mansfield takes place during Victorian times, based around two sister's whose father had recently died. Mansfield describes the struggles of these two women as they try to express their femininity and overcome the barriers of etiquette and the presence of their father, whom they feared. The story ends as the sisters Josephine and Constantia attempt to break free of their suppressed world but fail to, thus ending the story in tragedy. Despite this the path leading to the tragic ending is riddled in humorous moments. Therefore it might be said about the story that it is more comic than tragic for the reader. Mansfield often uses humor as a technique to reveal the darker, suppressed side of the two sisters and she often does it subtly. A casual reader might never discover this area of the story. ...read more.

Middle

She had that maddening habit of asking for just an inch more bread to finish what she had on her plate, and then, at the last mouthful, absent-mindedly- of course it wasn't absent-mindedly- taking another helping" This entire section is written in Josephine's voice, and thus allows the reader to view her opinion on Nurse Andrews. "fearful" is not very commonly used for such situations, and sounds amusing to the reader. This is also seen through the repetition of "absent-mindedly" as well as the use of dashes which allows the reader to visualize Josephine snapping at the gesture. However, even though she is pictured like this Josephine is unable to stop Nurse Andrews in real life. She merely "got very red when this happened, and she fastened her small, bead-like eyes on the table cloth". This again highlights the dismal state the women are in- though they are the masters of the house, a common nurse is able to dominate them, while the sisters are too weak to do anything against her. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is the final section which truly shows how tragic the situation surrounding the sisters is. It is here when the women have the opportunity to break free from the suppression of their femininity and etiquette imposed upon them by their father, yet they fail. "Josephine was silent for a moment. She stared at a big cloud where the sun had been. Then she replied shortly, "I've forgotten too."" During the final section, the sun represents their chance for freedom. "Golden rays" symbolized the richness and exiting new life which they could have taken. Yet, the whole new path the sisters might have taken was blocked out, symbolizing the cloud. It is thus that the story ends in tragedy- the sisters fail to break free, and remain stuck inside their self-imposed world. Their late father's influence is too great for them to overcome. In conclusion, it may be said that the story is both a comedy and a tragedy. However, because Mansfield cleverly disguises the tragedy to blend into hilarious moments the reader gets an overall sense of comic fun. Therefore, Daughters of the Late Colonel is more of a comedy than a tragedy ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Alice Walker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Alice Walker essays

  1. The story of Sredni Vasthar is one of oppression and conflict. Set in the ...

    'With her short-sighted eyes she peered at Conradin' this implies that she is trying to entice him into a reaction, which she will simply 'rebuke with a flow of excellent precepts and reasoning'. When she first notices Conradin's interest in the tool shed, her immediate response is to put an

  2. The £1,000,000 Bank Note by Mark Twain - summary

    The other confusing thing is that the main characters are not given names, like the two brothers are called Brother A and B. I think that dispite Mark Twain being concided a excellent author, this is not some of his best work, and must have been written without that much

  1. The ending of The Yellow Wallpaper. Breakdown or Breakthrough

    the wallpaper is affecting everyone and everything around it, including her relationship with her child. Similarly, she says the smell of the wallpaper 'creeps all over the house' displaying how it contaminates everyone, not just her. This conceivably implies the idea that the bars of patriarchy affect all women, not

  2. Flamineo in the prominent revenge tragedy John Webster play, The White Devil.

    He regularly comments on womens sexual feelings and claims women pretend to be polite and shy, however they are always up for having sex, as the following quotation from act one scene two suggests - ''what is't you doubt? Her coyness, that's but the superficies of lust most women have.

  1. Attitudes to Marriage and Women in Chopin and Gilman

    the woman is corroborated by an additional clue that can be found near the ending of the story. I am referring to the juncture when the narrator, having already lost her mind, keeps on talking about noticing a woman in the wallpaper.

  2. Free essay

    Select a Specific Incident in The Aspern Papers that you believe to be a ...

    This scene is a very dominant in what happens there forth. It describes how the narrator goes into the personal area (the room) of Miss Juliana Bordereau when she and Miss Tina are asleep. He jumps to the conclusion that Miss Tina had deliberately left open the door between the

  1. Henry James referred to TTOTS as a potboiler. In light of this comment, explore ...

    Moreover, as she is peppering her negative quotes with positive and vice versa massively showing her incredible volatility. This is a major idea that the rest of the story may be exaggerated or maybe not even true. This could also foreshadow her personality later on into the novella.

  2. When Im bad, I am bad In the light of this comment, discuss ...

    back to them and another could be that they are talking to the horrors and in this case the horrors could be Quint and Jessel since the word horror is often associated with ghosts and the supernatural. One thing that could suggest that the children are deceiving the governess and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work