Short creative essay on Katherine Mansfield's short story, Bliss. The main character's hysteric happiness with life is questioned when it is revealed that her husband has a lover.

Essay by garcia-scanlonUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, December 2002

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Bliss by Katherine Mansfield

Do all female writers write in this tone? Their short stories, rather. The woman, mostly alone with her thoughts and deeds eventually comes to the realization that every preconceived notion she had about her life is in direct conflict with the truth and everything she held dear is worthless? Okay, so it's probably unfair to assume all women writers do this based on one short story, especially one from the age where women had so few rights.

But the character is so incredibly happy without knowing why, not asking questions about the nanny's possessive nature with her child, or why her life seems so simple. She blindly goes on until she spies her husband with the woman she invited to dinner, then her entire house of cards falls. Is this the point? I believe so, yet isn't there a happy story out there? Perhaps happiness is not dramatic enough.

I would settle for a truly evil woman character, one who gets her comeuppance in the end, but these forlorn and naïve women just make me sad.

Why do I pity her? It's obvious that is the way she was brought up, not to question or rock the boat, but I cannot empathize with her plight. It is in the way she looks at the fruit on the table, matching the carpet so well that her heart is filled with absurd joy. I've felt that, the superficial day-to-day activities buoyed up by a simple flower arrangement or a particularly good deal at the shoe store. But the rest of it, especially the lack of maternal rights this woman feels is alien to me. But if I can identify with one aspect of this woman's plight, shouldn't I be able to se it all? Or is the...