Bliss

by

Katherine Mansfield

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Mrs. Knight is the wife of Mr. Norman Knight and one of Bertha Young’s guests at her dinner party. She presents herself as a bold, unconventional woman, making an entrance to the dinner party by complaining that “the middle-class is so stodgy” and “utterly without a sense of humor.” She tells Bertha that she caused a scene on the train on the way to the party by wearing an orange coat decorated with monkeys. Instead of becoming embarrassed by the fact that people were staring at her, Mrs. Knight tells Bertha that she asked one woman if she’d “never seen a monkey before,” drawing more attention to herself and her outfit. That she tells this story as a humorous anecdote implies that Mrs. Knight takes pride in her role as an unconventional, slightly shocking person and sees herself as more enlightened or original than others of her station. Mrs. Knight’s behavior reflects Bertha’s choice of “modern, thrilling friends,” as well as Mansfield’s own personal experience with bohemian socialites in London. However, although Bertha claims that her friends are interested in “social questions,” Mrs. Knight gives little evidence of this throughout the evening and, instead, is associated with aesthetics and external decoration: she is interested in “interior design” and her unconventionality is a facet of her outfit rather than her behavior.
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Mrs. Knight Character Timeline in Bliss

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Knight appears in Bliss. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Bliss
Sexuality and Desire Theme Icon
Aesthetics, Appearance, and Performance Theme Icon
...Norman Knights” and Eddie Warren. Mr. Norman Knight is an aspiring theatre director, his wife Mrs. Knight is interested in “interior decoration,” and Eddie Warren is a writer who has recently published... (full context)
Sexuality and Desire Theme Icon
Women’s Roles and Social Constraint Theme Icon
Aesthetics, Appearance, and Performance Theme Icon
Mr. Norman Knight and his wife, Mrs. Knight , arrive. Mrs. Knight is wearing a bright, orange coat decorated with a pattern of... (full context)
Sexuality and Desire Theme Icon
Aesthetics, Appearance, and Performance Theme Icon
...saw himself being driven away in a “timeless” taxi by an otherworldly taxi driver. When Mrs. Knight compliments Eddie Warren’s white socks, he tells her that they have grown whiter in the... (full context)
Sexuality and Desire Theme Icon
Women’s Roles and Social Constraint Theme Icon
Aesthetics, Appearance, and Performance Theme Icon
After dinner, the group retire to the drawing room and Mrs. Knight , whose nickname is “Face,” describes the burned down fire as a “nest of baby... (full context)
Aesthetics, Appearance, and Performance Theme Icon
Mr. and Mrs. Knight say that they need to leave to catch the last train and begin to say... (full context)