Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Katherine Mansfield's Bliss. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Bliss: Plot Summary
Bliss: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Bliss: Literary Devices
Bliss: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Katherine Mansfield
Historical Context of Bliss
Other Books Related to Bliss
- Full Title: Bliss
- When Written: 1918
- Where Written: Bandol, France
- When Published: 1918
- Literary Period: Modernist
- Genre: Literary fiction
- Setting: A London townhouse in the early twentieth century.
- Climax: At a dinner party, which she is hosting, Bertha Young discovers that her husband, Harry, and her friend, Pearl Fulton, with whom she is secretly in love, are having an affair.
- Point of View: Third person
Extra Credit for Bliss
Women’s Rights. Although Mansfield was not involved in the Suffragette movement, which was active in Britain when Mansfield was staying there, she was aware of its efforts to win women the right to vote, work, and have equal rights. In Mansfield’s home country, New Zealand, women had had the right to vote since 1893. It was one of the first countries to grant women this right.
Relations with the Māori people. While Mansfield had been happy growing up in New Zealand, as a young adult she became depressed and disillusioned by the racist attitudes shown by white settlers towards the native Māori people. She includes Māori characters in some of her later fiction, such as the short story “How Pearl Button was Kidnapped.” On her return to New Zealand after college, Mansfield also had a romantic relationship with a Māori woman, Maata Mahupuku.