Beryll from Prelude, by Katherine Mansfield

878 Words4 Pages
Choose one of the main characters and describe him/her in detail taking into account every aspect (personality, relationship, motivations, conflict, etc.) In the short story Prelude, by Katherine Mansfield, we are presented to Beryl. She is Linda’s sister and she and their mother, Mrs. Fairfield, live on Linda’s house. Beryl works in the house as if she were a servant; she is the one who arranges all the furniture in the moving and is in charge of doing everything she is asked to. Although she is part of the family, Mr. Burnell does not see anything wrong in that. “The worst is over already. The servant girl and I have simply slaved all day, and ever since mother came she has worked like a horse, too. We have never sat down for a moment.” As she is always given orders, she takes advantage of being able to give orders to the servant, but she does not know how to do that, so she makes Alice feel inferior. “…there was something in the way Miss Beryl had of speaking to her that she couldn’t stand. […] But what Alice really hated Miss Beryl for was that she made her feel low.” This is a very clear example of Beryl’s inferiority, and that Alice is aware of it. Another interesting point to notice about Beryl is that she is single and daydreams about having a boyfriend and her own money; she envies Linda for having everything she wishes. “The window was wide open; it was warm, and somewhere out there in the garden a young man, dark and slender, with mocking eyes, tiptoed among the bushes, and gathered the flowers into a big bouquet, and slipped under her window and held it up to her. […] ah, if only she had money of her own.” Also, when she is talking with Linda about the house, she says that she likes it, “…but it feels very far from everything to me. I can’t imagine people coming out from town to see us …” It was important for her where the house was, because she
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