Bliss Essay

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In the following essay, Kotin Mortimer argues that a second story exists within "Bliss," one that is critical to the understanding of the story as a whole.

When the heroine of Mansfield's well-known, extraordinary short story discovers her husband's infidelity less than a page before the end, a second story untold in the first but necessary to its meaning erupts into the narrative, to devastating effect. The devious second story construction leads, and often misleads, the reader, who interprets clues and applies general cultural competence to "retell" the once-submerged second story. Appealing to the reader's cooperation in its complex processes, the story subverts the reading subject, placing her in the position of the unknowing heroine.

"The truth is," Katherine Mansfield wrote in her journal, "one can get only so much into a story; there is always a sacrifice. One has to leave out what one knows and...

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This section contains 3,637 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bliss Study Guide
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Bliss from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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