Student Question

What is Kezia's opinion of the Kelveys in "The Doll's House" by Katherine Mansfield?

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Kezia does not agree with the rest of her family about the Kelveys; instead, she regards the girls as individuals with feelings and interests that are much like hers.

When the Burnell girls receive a doll house from "dear old Mrs. Hay," they are thrilled with the intricacies of this house and excited about showing it to their classmates. Isabel, the oldest of the three sisters, declares that she is to be the one to tell the other girls at school first about the doll house; her sisters can join in later. At school, Isabel informs her classmates that she has something important to tell them during their playtime. Then, as she holds "quite a court" under the trees at the edge of the playground, she informs the girls about the doll house. It is Kezia who reminds Isabel to tell the girls about the lamp, "an exquisite little amber lamp with a white globe." Only the little Kelveys are left out of the circle.

After all the girls are allowed to see the doll house by accompanying Isabel home two by two, Kezia decides that she would like to show the Kelvey girls the doll house.

"Mother," said Kezia, "can't I ask the Kelveys just once?"
"Certainly not, Kezia."
"But why not?"
"Run away, Kezia; you know quite well why not."

Disobeying this order one day, Kezia manages to sneak Lil and Else in by the back gate and briefly show them the doll house before Aunt Beryl sees the girls. Rushing out, Aunt Beryl scolds Kezia and abruptly sends the Kelveys away. Afterwards, Else tells her sister that she saw the lamp. Like Kezia, the little Kelvey girl appreciates the warmth that seems to emanate from it. 

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