A Doll's House

A dolls house

Comprehension 1. Recall Describe the doll’s house that the Burnells receive. 2. Recall Under what conditions are the girls’ friends allowed to see the doll’s house? 3. Recall Why are the Burnells not allowed to speak to the Kelveys? 4. Clarify Why does Else smile at the end of the story? Text Analysis 5. Compare and Contrast Characters What are the similarities and differences between Isabel Burnell and Lil Kelvey? Use a Venn diagram like the one shown to explore your answer. 6. Identify Symbol A person, a place, or an object that represents something beyond itself is a symbol. Two objects that might be considered symbols in this story are the doll’s house and the little lamp. What values do these objects symbolize? 7. Draw Conclusions About Theme Think about the story’s theme, or main message. What does the story reveal about popularity? Use evidence to support your conclusion. 8. Connect Writing “The Doll’s House,” Mansfield painted a picture of traditional New Zealand society. Despite the different location and time period, how are the characters, events, and ideas presented in the story relevant to your own experiences? Review the chart you completed as you read. Support your answer with information from the chart and the story. 9. Analyze Point of View In the story, the omniscient narrator sees into the minds of several of the story’s characters. How might your sense of the town and its residents be different if the story were told through the eyes of just one character—Aunt Beryl, for example? How would this affect the story’s tone? Text Criticism 10. Critical Interpretations “The notion that human beings adopt masks and present themselves to their fellows under assumed personalities,” wrote one biographer, “was one of [Mansfield’s] literary obsessions.” How does this comment apply to the story? Cite specific examples to support your answer.

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