What does the ending of Mansfield's "Bliss" suggest and signify?

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The ending of Katherine Mansfield's "Bliss" suggests that a period of change lies ahead for Bertha and that she will have a challenge in holding on to the sense of bliss that she has found. It signifies the beginning of a period of upheaval in her life.

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The ending of Katherine Mansfield's short story is left open-ended, with the reader given an unwritten invitation to interpret the story's ending as they will.

Having experienced an afternoon and evening of a kind of out-of-body happiness, Bertha's dinner party ends with her overhearing an intimate conversation between her husband and her new friend, Miss Pearl Fulton. This conversation would naturally have been disturbing to Bertha on a number of levels. For starters, the husband for whom she has just felt sexual desire for the first time is planning to sleep with another woman. Over and above that, he had previously given her the distinct impression that he didn't like Pearl at all.

I would argue that the key to what the ending suggests and signifies lies in Bertha's exclamation of "What is going to happen now?" This statement tells us that she has no idea what is going to happen next—just as the reader doesn't. The discovery that one's husband is about to be unfaithful will always herald the start of a period of uncertainty, and the real quest for Bertha will be to see if she can hold on to the feeling of bliss that she has found in light of the knowledge of her husband's infidelity.

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