The Doll's House

This study guide will help you analyse the text “The Doll’s House” by Katherine Mansfield. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Doll’s House”
Author: Katherine Mansfield
Published in: “The Dove’s Nest and Other Stories”
Date of Publication: 1922
Genre: Short Story

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) was a Modernist short story writer from New Zealand. At the age of 19, Mansfield settled in the UK and befriended some of the most famous writers of the time, such as Virginia Woolf and Beatrice Hastings (with whom she began a same-sex relationship). The short story “The Doll’s House” was inspired by the two real-life daughters of a washerwoman that Mansfield knew, Lil and Else McKelvey. Also, it is said that Kezia’s character was modeled after Mansfield herself.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

The Structure

The short story “The Doll’s House” by Katherine Mansfield is structured around a single event in the life of two poor sisters: they are invited by a richer schoolmate to see a beautiful and expensive doll’s house. The text is, however, much more complex than it looks like, as the short story is meant to bring criticism to the way in which class separation functioned at the beginning of the twentieth century. The title of the short story is very explicit, as it reveals the object around which the main events take place: a doll’s house...

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The Doll's House

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