The Doll\'s House Essay

The Doll\'s House Essay

A contributing factor to the story "The

Doll\'s House" by Katherine Mansfield is the characterization of Kezia as
she travels in her innocence through the symbolic world of experience.

Kezia is essential to the plot because she represents a taboo, offering
opposition to common ways of thinking. Through the portrayal of Kezia,
as she interacts as the symbolic eccentric, Mansfield emphasizes the powers
and blind justification of conformity within a society.

The story commences with the arrival of
the doll\'s house sent to the Burnell children. The Burnells take a great
liking to this new acquisition. As the two older children admire the red
carpet, red plush chairs, and gold frames of this highly ornamented house,

Kezia, the youngest of the girls, takes an interest in the rather simple
lamp. In fact, "what she liked more than anything, what she liked frightfully,
was the lamp." This infatuation symbolizes her impeccability in comparison
to the others as she is drawn to the unadorned lamp. Kezia proceeds to
find fault with the state and proportions of the doll\'s house and perfection
with the lamp in its simplicity. As others take interests in the gaudy
nature of the house, Kezia rebels: "But the lamp was perfect. It seemed
to smile at Kezia, to say \'I live here.\' The lamp was so real."

Conflict intensifies as Kezia remains the
odd ball. The appreciation of the lamp is a metaphor for the actions to
come. Kezia likes the lamp because she does not know any better. Thus,
she decides to befriend the Kelveys because she doesn\'t see anything wrong
in doing so. The Kelveys are a family that are shunned because of their
economic status. Throughout the town, "Many of the children, including
the Burnnels, were not allowed even to speak to them." Without a second
thought, school children and their families followed in the consuming tradition
of looking down upon these unprivileged people. Kezia offers offset to
this common path of thinking and questions such a blind following. She
asks her mother, "Can\'t I ask the Kelveys just once?" To which, the response
is, "Run away, Kezia; you know quite well why not." Mansfield successfully
expresses the enveloping and controlling nature of conformity through the
juxtaposition of Kezia\'s innocence to the prejudiced views of those who
live in the world of experience. While others remain to push Kezia\'s nonconformist
qualities down, she pursues contact with the Kelvey girls. She states in
her actions that she is strong enough to engage in war against conformity
when she invites the Kelveys to see the doll\'s house despite her mother\'s
unjustified demands. When the Kelveys have their visit, they hardly get
to take in the full effect of the doll\'s house before they are shooed "out
as if they were chickens." However, they overlook the embellished details
of the house and have, like Kezia, a tendency to be drawn to the simplistic
lamp. Thus, Kezia and the Kelveys are drawn together in the purity of heart
of the light to battle and ignore things based upon blind faith.