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Bliss Case

Essay by   •  December 17, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,210 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,451 Views

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Essay 2 "Bliss"

Through out history, woman have been made to be the "other" in man's eye. The way they are treated is a reflection of this belief. In "The Second Sex", Beauvoir explains woman's place in society though out history. It explains how events in history have lead to our beliefs on what a woman should be doing and how they should be viewed. The short story "Bliss" by Katherine Mansfield is about a woman that is confined within her home. Her confinement leads to her own delusion of her life and what it should be. In the story, the main character is overwhelmed by feelings of bliss and she can not explain why or where they come from. This seems to come from a lack of freedom that becomes apparent through out the story.

"The Second Sex" can be applied to this story in many different ways. Beauvoir discusses how a man is allowed to go shape the world into what he wants it to be while a woman is supposed to be happy with being a stay at home wife. In "Bliss", Harry is the bread winner for the family and Bertha is expected to stay at home at wait for him to return to her. Bertha is also the "other" in the story because of how she is treated. She is treated as an object to her husband as opposed to an equal of his. He does not even allow Bertha to care for her own child so he even takes away from her importance in the home. Bertha in turn is more like a child than an adult because the way she is treated.

Through out the story, Bertha has a problem controlling her explosions of bliss. They seem to take over her at random moments and keeps her from connecting with her group of friends at dinner. She is confused as to where these feelings come from and it even makes her seem more lonely since no one else feels what she does. Her moments of overwhelming bliss can be explained as denial. She is really unhappy with her life and it causes her to make this artificial bliss so that she can pretend that she is happy. Bertha is trying to convince herself that her life is complete and that she couldn't ask for anything more. It can also be her sexual desire for her husband actually coming out. Bertha has never had a desire for her husband and even goes on to say that they were "good pals". Bertha also has and odd relationship with her child. She holds the baby up and says that she is fond of the child instead of love. I believe that she does not really feel like a mother since she does not even get to take care of it. Her bliss is a form of denial for what her life is lacking.

Bertha is a stay at home wife in the story that must wait for her husband to come home. She is dependent on him to take care of her and in a way "save" her as Beauvoir states. She is confined to the home and is like a casing for her. When Bertha talks about herself she says" Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare, rare fiddle?". She is referring to herself as a object that is meant to be kept safe. In a way she is Harry's object and the house is the fiddle case. Bertha does not even get to take care

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