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Katherine Mansfield and Psychology$
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Clare Hanson, Gerri Kimber, and W. Todd Martin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417532

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417532.001.0001

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Apples and Pears: Symbolism and Influence in Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Apple Tree’ and Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Bliss’

Apples and Pears: Symbolism and Influence in Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Apple Tree’ and Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Bliss’

Chapter:
(p.172) Apples and Pears: Symbolism and Influence in Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Apple Tree’ and Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Bliss’
Source:
Katherine Mansfield and Psychology
Author(s):

Setara Pracha

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417532.003.0016

This essay offers a parallel reading of two stories, ‘Bliss’ by Katherine Mansfield and ‘The Apple Tree’ by Daphne du Maurier, revealing a hitherto unexamined yet fruitful area of research. Dramatic irony, organic unity and liminal spaces are identified and discussed in terms of how these are used to represent subconscious and conscious perceptions of reality. The plots incorporate symbols from well-known myths to suggest extreme mental states in narratives that invite the reader to occupy psychological spaces of delusion and fantasy. Material from previously unpublished letters reveals the extent to which Mansfield influenced du Maurier’s writing and this close analysis demonstrates how examining these writers in tandem provides a valuable mean of accessing their work in a new way. Du Maurier’s critical reputation is current undergoing a process of revision which echoes the way in which Mansfield has come to be increasingly regarded as one of the ‘high priestesses’ of modernism.

Keywords:   Katherine Mansfield, Daphne du Maurier, ‘Bliss’, ‘The Apple Tree’, symbolism, obsession, hysteria, modernism, influence

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