The Sisters and the Doll's House Book Review by Ally

The Sisters and the Doll's House
An analysis of how the sisters in Katherine Mansfield's short story, "The Doll's House," use the doll house for different ends.
# 151606 | 862 words | 1 source | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Jul 11, 2012 in Literature (World) , English (Analysis)

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This paper discusses how in Katherine Mansfield's short story, "The Doll's House" all three Burnell sisters are excited to receive a doll's house as a gift. In particular, it examines how Isobel uses the doll house to wield power and exclude others whereas Kezia uses the doll house to extend kindness and include others.

From the Paper:

"At playtime, "Isabel was surrounded" (Mansfield 133); and they "fought to put their arms around, [...] to be her special friend" (Mansfield 133). She continues this power over the other the other little girls as she "held quite a court under the pine trees" (Mansfield 133), in her "voice, so very proud" (Mansfield 134). Isabel's power grew because "as more children saw the doll's house, the fame of it spread. It became the one subject, the rage" (Mansfield 135). She reinforces the societal hierarchy.
"In a society that is rigidly structured, it is necessary to have those who make up the lower portion of the social ladder; this gives power to those above, such as the Burnells. In this village, those who are at the bottom of the social structure are the Kelvey girls(Lil and our Else) who were the daughters of a "hardworking little washerwoman, who went about from house to house by the day" (Mansfield 134). The Burnells, as well as most of the other children in the village, "were not allowed to even speak to them" (Mansfield 134)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Mansfield, Katherine. "The Doll's House." Katherine Mansfield's Short Stories. USA: Feather Trail, 2010. Print.

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"The Sisters and the Doll's House" 11 July 2012. Web. 18 April. 2021. <>