Essay about The Metamorphosis of Bertha in Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss
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The Metamorphosis of Bertha in Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss
Katherine Mansfield’s “Bliss” is quite an interesting story full of underlying meanings and themes. Upon a first reading, it seems to be a simple story of a woman who feels uncontainable bliss one day, only to have it end when she discovers her husband is having an affair. Although this is a correct interpretation, after a second reading, much more is apparent. “Bliss” is a story of the revelation of a vibrant young woman, of criticism of society, and of sexual revolution.
In order to fully comprehend the work, we see that significance comes from small details. A tree is the major symbol in this piece, and the details assist in understanding why the pear…show more content… Could this awry feeling be coming from an unexpected extramarital affair in which Bertha’s significant other is involved? The audience’s first glimpse at the affair that Harry, Bertha’s husband, is having may come when he phones home to say he will be late for their dinner party. He gives no reasons for his tardiness, and his delayed arrival coincides with Miss Fulton’s overdue entrance. Could they have had a possible rendezvous before the dinner party? It is quite feasible.
It is also at this same time that the reader becomes aware of Bertha’s yearning for her husband. It is very evident in the line, “She only wanted to get in touch with him for a moment (146).” Bertha is brimming with life, she wants to reach out and share it with someone. She tries to share it with her baby, but “all her feeling of bliss came back again, and again, she didn’t know how to express it (146).” Bertha has trouble expressing these new feelings to others. The nanny is angry when Bertha wants to feed the child, showing how little Bertha is involved in her daughter’s life. The audience becomes aware that Bertha and her husband are not intimate; they have more of a friendship and partnership. With Bertha saying that she wanted to get in touch with Harry, an explanation for her feelings begins to suggest itself; without her realizing what is happening, he sexual desire is brewing inside of her.
As Bertha dresses for dinner, she sees the