The Garden Party

“The Daughters of the Late Colonel” as a Modernist Work College

During the Modern period, writers were concerned with “making it new.” People had been disillusioned, largely due to the devastation of the First World War, and they were fed up with the hypocrisy of Victorian society. People’s way of looking at themselves and society had changed; they wanted address the issues that Victorians ignored, and ameliorate society. Katherine Mansfield’s “The Daughters of the Late Colonel” is undoubtedly a Modernist short story. The characteristics it possesses in both form and content restrict it from belonging to any earlier literary period.

The very fact that the author, Katherine Mansfield, is writing shows that this short story belongs to the Modernist period. In the past, writers have traditionally been upper-class, white males from central European cities (namely London). Mansfield, however, is an average middle-class woman from the colonies (New Zealand). Mansfield did not have to write under a man’s name in order to be successful. Had this story been written in an earlier period, it would not have been taken seriously unless it was thought to have been written by a man. With the Modern Period came the emergence of feminism. By the 1920s, most women had the vote; but they were still fighting...

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