In "The Doll's House," what message does the writer want to convey through Else's speech at the end of the short story?

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When Else, who has been silent throughout the story, finally speaks at the end to say that she "'seen the little lamp'" in the Burnells' doll house, it seems to signify how innocent young children can be and how impactful even a small kindness can feel. All along, the Kelvey...

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When Else, who has been silent throughout the story, finally speaks at the end to say that she "'seen the little lamp'" in the Burnells' doll house, it seems to signify how innocent young children can be and how impactful even a small kindness can feel. All along, the Kelvey girls have been bullied and mocked, cruelly excluded by the other children, while Isabel, the oldest Burnell daughter, boasts about the doll house that all the children but the Kelveys are allowed to visit. The older children, friends of Isabel's, are horrid to the Kelveys, clearly repeating mean things they've heard their parents say. However, Kezia, by far the kindest of the Burnell girls, is in awe of the tiny yellow lamp inside the house, and she speaks of it with a kind of reverence; it is this lamp that Else acknowledges in the end. Kezia's unexpected invitation for the Kelveys to visit the doll house, though it results in more cruelty from Aunt Beryl, seems to impact Else far more than the meanness she's encountered. Though Lil's "cheeks were still burning," the two sisters look "Dreamily" around them, and, soon, Else "had forgotten the cross lady." A momentary glimpse of the fabled doll house is enough to have granted the Kelvey girls some happiness. Else, still quite young and innocent, has been so affected by the magic of the tiny lamp, the result of Kezia's innocent and kind acceptance, that she only really remembers it.

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One of the central themes of "The Doll's House" is how society operates and how some are included and others excluded. Clearly, in the story, it is the Kelvey's that are excluded in this world - they are made fun of mercilessly by the other girls and even the adults like to make themselves feel better by bulling them, such as Aunt Beryl. However, throughout the tale, it is Kezia who is most unaware of this social boundaries and it is also she who is most struck by the little red lamp in the house. Thus, when Else comments at the very end after they have been thrown out of the house, "I seen the little lamp," which she says with her "rare smile," she is commenting on the significance of the lamp and the way that it represents the light of kindness that briefly shone out of Kezia; or perhaps the warmth of inclusion and belonging which they have rarely experienced.

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