On the Modernistic Themes in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Fiction毕业论文_英语毕业论文

On the Modernistic Themes in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Fiction毕业论文


摘 要

凯瑟琳·曼斯菲尔德被誉为新西兰和英国文学史上著名的现代主义短篇小说作家,享有“短篇小说大师”的称号。她在现代短篇小说的发展上占有重要地位。她的作品在反映现代人精神生活方面体现了现代主义技巧和现代主义主题的完美结合。研究者们大都倾向于关注曼斯菲尔德的现代主义风格写作技巧,因此, 她的短篇小说中的主题价值常常被忽视。本文旨在分析现代主义主题在她的三篇代表性短篇小说《在海湾》、《园会》和《金丝雀》中的体现,具体分析了异化主题、孤独幻灭主题以及死亡主题,展现了她创作的短篇小说的恒久价值,以及她作为一名作家,以自己独特的方式所表达的对现代社会和现代人精神世界的极大关注和思考,从而让读者对她作品的主题和思想有更深入的了解。



  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 3
    1. The modernistic theme of alienation 3
      1. The alienation in the relationship between man and society 3
      2. The alienation in the relationship among people 5
      3. The alienation in the relationship between man and self 6
    2. The modernistic theme of loneliness and disillusionment 8
      1. The spiritual isolation and loneliness of women characters 9
      2. The conflict between illusion and reality leading to disillusionment 10
    3. The modernistic theme of the paradox of life and death 12
      1. The inevitable fate of death 12
      2. The interweaving of life and death 14
  3. Conclusion 15

Works Cited 17

Bibliography 18

On the Modernistic Themes in Katherine Mansfield’s

Short Fiction


Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), pseudonym of Cathleen Mansfield Beauchamp, is one of the most prominent modern writers in New Zealand and English literature who earns a high reputation entirely for her short stories. She works diligently in literary creation and makes a great contribution to the development of modern short fiction.

Mansfield was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand where she had a comfortable and unforgettable childhood. In 1908, she left her hometown and settled in the United Kingdom as a writer to “realize her nature” (Kaplan 19) and never returned. The Bohemian existence in London and the indiscreet marriage with a man whom she left very soon made her feel lonely, unhappy and hopeless. At the end of 1911, Mansfield met John Middleton Murry, an editor and critic of magazines Rhythm and The Blue Review, and she began to assist him in the edition of the two magazines. She lived with Murry for the rest of her life, marrying him in 1918. Although their relationship was intense and filled with conflict, her second marriage indeed brought her a lot of happiness. In 1915, the death of her brother, Leslie, profoundly affected her life and her writing. She was diagnosed as tuberculosis in 1917. Then she began to journey to the south of Europe in order to recover. Under the unsettled circumstances and the shadow of death, she wrote assiduously and passionately. Unfortunately, she died in 1923 at the age of thirty-four in Fontainebleau, France.

Throughout her short life, Mansfield is best known for her short stories that are

collected in five collections, including In a German Pension (1911), Bliss and Other Stories (1920), The Garden Party and Other Stories (1922), The Doves’ Nest and Other Stories (1923) and Something Childish and Other Stories (1924). Mansfield’s short stories manifest the perfect union of the modernistic techniques and modernistic themes in reflecting the spiritual life of modern people. Nowadays, the research focuses of

Katherine Mansfield can be mainly classified into the following categories: (1) the influence of Mansfield and her works on the genre of short fiction; (2) biographical criticism; (3) feminist criticism; (4) modernistic techniques. However, the analysis of the modernistic themes of her short stories is far from being satisfied. Thus, this thesis will analyze the themes of several of her representative works which are insufficiently discussed, including At the Bay, The Garden Party, and The Canary.

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