Tuesday, 12 February 2013

On Life of Ma Parker
·         How far does Katherine Mansfield get ‘inside’ her working class character?  Does she feel like a person? 

·         Why does Katherine Mansfield introduce the ‘literary gentleman’, who has nothing to do with Ma Parker’s grief?

·         Does the respelling of certain words to make them ‘working class’  create realism or is it patronising?

·         Why is the ‘hard life’ theme repeated so much?  Is this over done?

·         ‘But the struggle she’d had to bring up those six little children and keep herself to herself’  What does that last clause mean?

·         Why is the sick child ‘offended’?  

·         How convincing is it that Ma Parker can find nowhere to cry? 

·         Is this need to cry all on her own some kind of symptom of her life?   Is it just loneliness?   Is it something to do
                 with English culture?

·         Compare Ma Parker’s need to have a ‘planned cry’ to the boss in The Fly.

·         Is Ma Parker represented simply as a victim of fate (compare  Reginald’s comment in Mr and Mrs Dove)?

·         Are we to think of Ma Parker as typical of her class?

On Mr and Mrs Dove
·         Reginald’s lack of self-confidence is based on:   Reality (He’s just a loser)?   His low self esteem?   Class?   His mother?

·         Reginald speculates that Anne doesn’t really know why she laughs at him?   Is there a Freudian explanation?

·         Mrs Dove leads Mr Dove, but Anne’s upbringing makes her think the husband should lead.  Is that assumption 
               questioned in the  story?

·         Is this a story about gender?

·         Anne is fond of her doves?   Does she like the ‘marriage’ arrangement her doves have?   Or like to laugh at it?

·         Mr Dove follows Mrs Dove bowing and so on.   Anne tells Reginald that that’s all they do?   Has she forgotten something?     
                    Is she denying something?  

·         Why does Katherine Mansfield choose doves?   Doves are traditional symbols of love and peace.  
                    The dove comes back to Noah with a message of hope, that there is land somewhere out there.

·         Anne finds Reginald a good ‘friend’, but that’s not enough.  She goes to her reading  in which, we assume, ‘love’ is a romantic             
         notion with a masterly Adonis-like lover with  wicked bedroom eyes.

·         How can Reginald expect Anne to up sticks and go to Rhodesia with him the very next day?

·         Katherine Mansfield represents Rhodesia as a kind of ‘saving’ of Reginald but also a place of loneliness . 
                 He says he can stand the   loneliness but there’s something he can’t cope with.  Which is?

·         Do you think Anne is first just ‘silly’, and second selfish in wanting to make Reginald somehow remove her guilt?

·         What happens in the end?   Is Reggie redeemed or doomed?

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