Who are the characters in the short story "The Doll's House"?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Katherine Mansfield's short story about the unfairness of social classicism, "The Doll's House", features as main characters two poor and socially disenfranchised little sisters, named Lil Kelvey and Else Kelvey. These girls are the daughters of Mrs. Kelvey, presumably a washer woman, and an unnamed father who is in prison.

As their foils, there are the secondary characters who are the owners of the dollhouse; three rich young ladies named Isabel, Lottie and Kezia Burnell. They, as well as the rest of the other children, would stay away from the Kelvey's, as they were considered to be bottom-feeders.

Other characters in the story that are mentioned include Mrs. Hay, who is the lady visitor who sends the doll house as a "thank you" gift to the Burnell sisters. There is "the carter" and "Pat", who carried the huge dollhouse inside, so we can assume that Pat was a servant.

Then we learn about Aunt Beryl, who is the haughty aunt of the three sisters, and who lives with the girls.

The rest are filler characters which interact with the main and secondary characters but some of them have a name. There is the girls' unnamed teacher who seems as classicist as the rest of the society of the school. There is also a Ms. Lecky, for instance, who is identified as the postmistress. Last, but not least, are the two chosen girls who were to be the firsts to see the dollhouse at the Burnell's house, Emmie Cole and Lena Logan. Lena is also the girl who laughs at Lil Kelvey asking her if she is going to be a servant when she grows up.


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