One theme in Katherine Mansfield's "A Cup of Tea" is how the aristocracy treat other people. Another theme is how the aristocracy, despite their wealth, are insecure and often project onto others the attributes they hate about themselves. In her singular concern for status and wealth, Rosemary represents the aristocracy.
The wealthy Rosemary Fells invites the poor Miss Smith home with her after she asks for enough money to buy a cup of tea. She thinks she is being charitable by inviting the poor girl home, but she really wants the chance to show off her lavish lifestyle. In order to feel good about herself and what she has, she needs others to tell her how good she has it. While chatting with Miss Smith, she considers the differences in their lives and considers herself lucky.
Rosemary's husband, Philip, is not happy to find Miss Smith in his home. He asks his wife to kick her out, but Rosemary refuses to do it, having promised to care for her. Rosemary changes her mind after Philip tells her that he finds Miss Smith attractive. Convinced that the poor girl could seduce Philip and displace her, Rosemary kicks her out. She is unwilling to sacrifice what she has for Miss Smith, and she knows that in Miss Smith's position, she'd likely do the same.Learn More
"The Doll's House" by Katherine Mansfield is set in rural New Zealand in the early 1900s. The setting mirrors the location and circumstances of the author's childhood.Full Answer >
The themes of "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield include the inevitability of death, sorrow, the healing powers of memory and the effects of war on families. "The Fly" begins with the Mr. Woodifield visiting a character who is only referred to as "the boss." The short visit has a profound effect on the boss, but he ultimately loses all memory of his momentary grief.Full Answer >
The themes in Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" are the physical and emotional burdens carried by soldiers, the subjective nature of truth in storytelling and fear and shame as a motivation in war. Tim O'Brien uses his own experiences to develop the themes in his story that follows a platoon of infantrymen in the Vietnam War.Full Answer >
In William Shakespeare's play "The Taming of the Shrew," the protagonist Petruchio "tames" his newly married wife Kate by matching her wit, by embarrassing her at their wedding, by keeping her from eating and drinking and by forcing her to agree with everything he says. Although Kate is widely viewed by her own family members to be a shrew, Petruchio's techniques make her docile and subservient.Full Answer >