Katherine Mansfield was a very experienced woman in terms of social relationships, and strove to have power within them. Her early life was materially secure but emotionally turbulent as her father and mother were very different, and distant from their children.
Once Katherine reached adulthood, her life became very bohemian and passionate, as she had a day-long marriage, was pregnant to another man and lived with her partner John Middleton Murry for six years until her terminal illness prompted them to marry.
Katherine also had a close relationship throughout her life with a female friend, Ida Baker. Together they became part of the Bloomsbury group.
It is very evident that Mansfield was fascinated- sometimes appalled -by the roles of men and women in society. She was able to flex the boundaries of the times concerning marriage, sex, motherhood and friendship. These experiences certainly gave her the power to express her observations eloquently in the short story form.