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Lecture 16

ENGLISH 1A03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Distillation, Dollhouse, Exaggeration

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Jeffery Donaldson

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November 9, 2017
Lecture Notes for The Doll’s House
Dollhouses & short fiction
Kezia is the youngest of the children. Given a doll house by Mrs. Hay
Doll house sits in the courtyard
Exaggeration of the feeling when the hook unlatches and the reader is brought into this
world which Mansfield introduces
Class + belonging
Kezia decides to show the Kelveys the doll house for ‘a brief moment’.
Ends up getting caught
Crucial moment when Kezia reveals the house to the Kelveys
Syntax of the line, which is used to blockade the structure of class
Illumination of someone seeing this thing
Blindness… light
Kelveys clothing
Dresses in bits of what is given to Mrs. Kelveys by the neighbours
Relation of their dresses patch work to that of the doll house. Doll house put
together the same way the Kelveys children’s clothing is put together
Who ‘gets to see’ and what is it that is revealed?
Written when Britain took over New Zealand
Societal Class
Middle class didn’t exist as the way we understand them today
New language we associated with the haves and have nots
Mansfield has created this context this object that connects classes
How do individuals live within the context of their class and cope/ interact with each
Mansfield emphasis vision of who gets to see this doll house
Metaphor of illumination
Only available to certain people
Alienation and isolation
Barrier… cannot enter into the doll house. In relation to societal class… how hard it is to
climb the ladder to a higher class
The lamp
Pretend illumination. Not real
For Kezia, real illumination. But for others, false illumination
Else… genuine illumination
What’s real and what’s artificial
Narrator telling us of course you can't light it
Idea: Kezia is the lamp. The two children dolls are the other Burnell children
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“The lamp was real”. This imaginary lamp, but is the most real thing in there. Real
“I seen that light”…. Imaginative and real in literature. Avid reader sees the reality of
“Then they were silent once more”… taken back into the story where they stand. One and
only sentence she says. The class that is not meant to see, sees. Child sees the potential
reality of this world. Identifies with this lamp. Shared vision crosses the barrier and
allows both of them to enter this beautiful new world
way of seeing
What’s real and what’s artificial
Architecture of the doll house itself
Miniature world is so fascination
Desire, frustration, longing emotion the world creates
When you look into this world you see it in its entirety
Condensed space which has everything consisted in it
God like power, being able to peer into this imaginative world. Mastery vs. exile.
Power of miniature minomine the power that short fiction can have. Story can work like a
doll house does. Peering into a new world, and get a little perspective and get illuminated.
Reader gets enlightened literally and figuratively
Short stories are concentration of attention much like a doll house
Distillation of class and how you treat people
Imposed stereotypes
Smell of Paint
God like perspective aligned with a divine perspective
Source of light
Don’t look like they belong
Father and mother and children dolls don’t belong… relates to the characters in the story
that are not compatible with the society
Always finding the negative in the world. Misfit in their own world… relation to
Burnells. Not everything is right with the Burnells family
Approach of the Kelvets
Can't ignore the humanity of them
Watch them become ‘real’ people
Gradual revelation of their personhood
Attempted revelation of them getting cut off by Aunt Barrell
Kelveys shadows
Significance of the gate
Barrier of societal class
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