Pearl And The Pear Tree Katherine Mansfield'S Bliss

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“Bliss” by Katherine Mansfield is filled with wonderful symbolism and underlying meaning. As the short story unfolds, it becomes quite clear that the majority of the symbols, depicted by Mansfield, work together to create an image of evolving life and female sexuality. The most prominent symbol is Bertha's perfect pear tree which is in full bloom. Bertha describes the tree in great detail referring many times to her own life in relation to the beautiful leaves and blossoms. Part way through the story, images of the moon begin to weave their way into the writing. The moon is a well known symbol for female sexuality and therefore works with the pear tree to give us a greater understanding of Pearl's and Bertha's relationship. Another symbol used by Mansfield is that of two cats slinking through the garden in the dusk. The cats represent the deception which is taking place, as well as symbolizing, once again, feminine sexuality. In the opening of the story, Bertha Young is a young women in her early thirties who is overcome with a feeling of happiness and bliss. When Bertha gazes out into the garden she sees her pear tree. “At the far end, against the wall, there was a tall slender pear tree in fullest, richest bloom; it stood perfect, as though becalmed against the jade-green sky. Bertha couldn't help feeling even from this distance, that it had not a single bud or a faded petal”(117). Just as the tree is at its peak of perfection, so is Bertha. She states that she sees the pear tree as a symbol of her own life. She then proceeds to dress in the same colors as the tree “A white dress, a string of jade beads, green shoes and stockings”(118). The pear tree represents the emerging sexuality and desire that Bertha is feeling. Later on in the story, after Pearl is introduced it becomes

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