Je ne parle pas francais Summary
Katherine Mansfield

Everything you need to understand or teach Je ne parle pas francais by Katherine Mansfield.

  • Je ne parle pas francais Summary & Study Guide

Je ne parle pas francais Summary

Two important themes in the story are sexual ambiguity and victimization, what critic Kate Fullbrook calls the "inescapable victimization and universal warping of desire." The sexual orientation of each of the three main characters is in some way twisted or ambiguous. Raoul Duquette, the narrator of the story, had been repeatedly molested by an African laundress when he was a child, starting at the age of ten. His loss of innocence brought an early end to his childhood so that he "seemed to understand everybody and be able to do ... what he liked with everybody." His English friend Dick Harmon has never been able to break the bonds of a domineering mother and is apparently unable to maintain relationships with either women or men.

The young woman in the story, Mouse, may be fragile and delicately attractive, but she has masculine characteristics and several times is likened to...

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Je ne parle pas francais Short Guide