Katherine Mansfield - Bliss

1499 Words6 Pages
Britt Born ENG150- Hipsky October 7, 2003 Modernism in “Bliss” “Bliss,” by Katherine Mansfield, is a modernist work. During the modernist period, writers and other artists tried to become more contemporary. Writers of this time period tried to leave behind the older ideas of Victorianism and express more up-to-date ideas about life and culture in writing. Some of the greatest movements in writing and the arts happened during the modernist period. “Bliss” is filled with ideas from this modernist period. Mansfield gives clear ideas about Young’s attitude toward life and the values Young has. In the opening of “Bliss” we are introduced to a woman named Bertha Young, who is overcome with an extreme sense of happiness: “Although Bertha Young was thirty she still had moments like this when she wanted to run instead of walk, to take dancing steps on and off the pavement, to bowl a hoop, to throw something up in the air and catch it again, or to stand still and laugh at-- nothing-- at nothing, simply” (Mansfield 143). This leads us to believe that Bertha Young is a mature woman who would like to be young again; this is also ironic because the woman’s last name is indeed Young. In regards to her overwhelming sense of happiness, Young thinks, “Oh, is there no way you can express it without being ‘drunk and disorderly?’ How idiotic civilization is! Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare, rare fiddle” (Mansfield 143)? In this paragraph, Bertha Young is extremely critical. She thinks people are absurd, because we live in a society where other people think we are crazy if we act overly happy about something. Bertha Young would love to act as happy as she feels, but she knows that she will be viewed as a lunatic if she does. Instead, she is forced to bury her feelings inside her and only show a portion of

More about Katherine Mansfield - Bliss

Open Document