2.1 Dill Pickle as Setting 2
2.1.1 Dill Pickle as a Way of Portraying the Character..................................................3
2.1.2 Dill Pickle as an Indication of the Relationship between Two Characters............3
2.2 Flower as Setting......................................................................................................3
2.2.1 Paper Daffodil as Setting 3
2.2.2 Geranium as Setting 4
2.2.3 Calendula as Setting 5
2.3 Clothes as Setting 6
2.3.1 Clothes of Man 6
2.3.2 Clothes of Woman 7
Works Cited 9
Dill Pickle, Flowers and Clothes
——A Study of Settings in A Dill Pickle
Katherine Mansfield(1888-1923) is a famous writer and feminist. As one of the world’s most celebrated writers, she enjoys a widespread international reputation. Together with her contemporaries, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, she forms part of the literary avant-grade in the second and third decades of the twentieth century, whose innovations mark the emergence of modernism. Mansfield demonstrates and pioneers new literary techniques and exerts an important influence on the innovation of the short stories in English, and is hence crowned as “the Master of Short Stories”.
Among all her works, A Dill Pickle is Katherine Mansfield’s the most significant one, which enjoys great reputation and is a masterpiece of her. The story happened in a restaurant where the old couple met each other again after six years. After six years, the man has totally changed in many aspects and so has the woman. The time they met again, the man always keeps talking about his experiences, the endless love to the woman and something beautiful but have past. With the disappointment to the man, the woman urged to leave. In spite of detainment from the man, she left finally.
The researches of Katherine Mansfield in China exited in 1920s and 1980s. The early representative personages are Xu Zhimo and Mao Dun. Xu chose eight stories including “The Garden Party” and “The Poision”, and published this selection. More and more her writings were translated and published in 1980s. But it was after 1990s that her works began to receive increasing academic interest. With the maturity of research and study on foreign literature in China, the study of Katherine Mansfield developed fast.
However, most of the researches in China are aimed to explore the feminist concerns of the author and the techniques of her writing. Meanwhile, little attention has been given to the significance of the settings in her woks. Therefore, this thesis intends to study the settings in this short story. It attempts to analyze the setting from three aspects: dill pickle, flowers and clothes, and explore the contributions that settings make to the characterization, the development of the plot and the expression of the theme in this story.
2.1 Dill Pickle as Setting
2.1.1 Dill Pickle as a Way of Portraying the Character
In this short story, dill pickle is one of the most important settings. Though the dill pickle just appeared in the story twice, it is of great significance with respect to the theme. As the title of this short story, it is of great help in portraying the character.
The first appearance of dill pickle is in the man’s words: And while we eating the coachman came up. “Have a dill pickle,” he said. He wanted to share with us: That seemed to me so right, so—you know what I mean?” (杨立明 260) This is the situation when the man traveled to Russia and had a picnic by the sea. The groom is willing to share dill pickle with him. From this point, we can see that dill pickle is not expensive and it is popular. Here the dill pickle symbolizes that people are helpful and kind. On the contrary, it reflects the man is selfish and self-interest. A groom is still willing to share good things with others, but him. On the one hand, the author used the sharing of dill pickle to express that the woman Vera is just looking forward to the peaceful life and she is a kind warm-heart woman who is willing to share beautiful things with others. On the other hand, dill pickle which has been socked for a long time, its taste has changed totally, so has the woman’s life. She grows old, becomes poor and even sells her beloved piano. In this case, dill pickle can be understood as the changes of Vera’s life, her appearance, her health and her economic condition.
2.1.2 Dill Pickle as an Indication of the Relationship between Two Characters
The appearances of dill pickle were put in the middle of the short story by the author. Before it, they met by accident after six years. Both the man and the woman were fall into happiness and the woman dreamed that she could restart with the man. So at first the woman walked toward the man and raised the veil. She even forgave him for his interruption and made a concession the time they can not come to an agreement. After the appearance of dill pickle, it is easy for the woman to notice that the man is just the same as what he was six years ago and he has never changed. He never put Vera’s emotion into consideration and just kept talking about his experience in different countries. When Vera told him about her piano, he just ignores it. Vera gave all of her hope towards this love to the man.
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