How does "Bliss" critically portray women in modern society?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp's "Bliss," the women's roles can be viewed as a very critical portrayalof women in general.  This characterization is directly linked to Ms. Mansfield's personal upbringing, her rebellious nature, her history of broken relationships, and the era in which she lived.  Her contemporaries were writers such as George Sands, D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.

The main female characters in "Bliss" are Bertha, flat character that we know little about except she feels full of bliss toward her life and feels like a major progression is about to take place in her life; Mrs. Knight who appears to feel she is a talented artist but can't put an outfit together, and Pearl Fulton who has the nerve to advance a promise of friendship to Bertha, even though she is having an affair with Bertha's husband.

Bertha looks like a fool, Mrs. Knight a egocentric woman with no talent, and Pearl is simply a woman having an affair with a married man.  Not a very good portrayal of women in general.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial