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Why does Katherine Mansfield use the same names for characters in her short stories?

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ssmpgeng | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:10 PM via web

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Why does Katherine Mansfield use the same names for characters in her short stories?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:17 PM (Answer #1)

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If we look at a range of Mansfield's excellent short stories we can see that two families are used again and again in her fiction. In "The Garden Party" for example, the Sheridan family, with their children Jose, Laura and Laurie are introduced, and they crop up again in a number of stories, such as "Her First Ball." Likewise in "The Doll's House" we see the Burnell family, with their three daughters, Lottie, Kezia and Isabel. These again appear in other stories such as "The Prelude." It is interesting that Mansfield chose to write lots of her stories focusing on one of these two families and to present New Zealand society through them. We see from these stories that Kezia Burnell is presented as being more sympathetic and different to her sisters, and is used often to show criticism of the way that the others in her family have accepted the social norms and conventions of the day.

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