Bliss Essay

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In the following essay, Neaman argues that allusions to the Bible and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night offer answers to questions that have troubled critics.

"Bliss" Katherine Mansfield's most ambiguous story of initiation, poses many problems, some of which have plagued critics for years. What is Bertha's "bliss"? What does Pearl Fulton represent and to what does her name allude? Why a pear tree instead of an apple? Was Bertha really cold? Is she hysterical? Would would "happen now"? Why, at the end of such a crisis of disillusionment, is the pear tree "as lovely as ever"? Yet, Mansfield has answered these questions in the story by interweaving allusions to two sources - the Bible and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night - whose major role in "Bliss" has been largely ignored. These allusions not only answer the crucial questions but they also illuminate the meaning of the tale, while simultaneously charting...

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This section contains 4,572 words
(approx. 12 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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