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A Cup of Tea by Katherine Mansfield: An Analysis

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    The short story under analysis is written by Katherine Mansfield a famous New Zealand modernist writer. She is the one of the most successful short-story writers. Among her best-known stories are “The Garden Party”, “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” and “The Fly”. And one of the most famous short-stories is “A cup of tea”. “A cup of tea” was originally published in the Story-Teller in the year 1922. The story is about society. About high and low social levels. Generosity and kindness disappear from our lives.

    The main character of the story, Rosemary Fell, a rich, modern country and a well-dressed woman. ‘Rosemary ‘, according to the author, ‘was not exactly beautiful’. Rosemary loved reading books and novels. She would read all the latest books. But the negative side of this habit, her dreams comes into conflict with reality. She didn’t know about real world. Author pointed out that Rosemary went shopping to Paris from London. When she went shopping, she met young, poor girl, Miss Smith. She was asking money for a cup of tea.

    Rosemary was shocked; she didn’t know that someone doesn’t have money, even for a cup of tea? She thought that if she took the girl like as it is written in the novels in her romantic world, good things will happen. And rich people are generous and help in trouble and too have hearts. She didn’t think before she acted. She didn’t think about reaction of her husband and other servants at her house when she took Miss Smith to home. In the end of this story romantic world in which Rosemary lived came into conflict with the realistic world.

    When her husband Philip accolade Miss Smith, he makes Rosemary jealous. She forgot all her dreams, she took out three pounds and gave the girl the money and sent her away. This jealousy opened her real faces, her views of life. Also show us that rich people are not so generous. Even if they want to help out of good intentions, something will stop them. This story is very instructive, interesting and a little bit sad. Because very pity that in the world there are people who are looking at all from the top and think that it will never come upon them.

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