Bliss

by

Katherine Mansfield

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Nurse is an employee of Bertha Young and cares for Bertha and Harry’s young daughter, Little B. Nurse seems to have a very close bond with Little B, even though she is Bertha’s daughter and not her own, and is resentful of Bertha’s attempts to spend time with the baby. Although Bertha’s wish to bond with her daughter is genuine, Nurse views her desire to feed her daughter as interference and this type of interaction, between an upper-class woman and her child, as unconventional and improper.

Nurse Quotes in Bliss

The Bliss quotes below are all either spoken by Nurse or refer to Nurse. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sexuality and Desire Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Bliss published in 1991.
Bliss Quotes

She stood watching them, her hands by her side, like the poor little girl in front of the rich little girl with the doll. The baby looked up at her again, stared, and then smiled so charmingly that Bertha couldn’t help crying: “Oh, Nanny, do let me finish giving her her supper while you put the bath things away.”

“Well, M'm, she oughtn't to be changed hands while she's eating,” said Nanny, still whispering. “It unsettles her; it’s very likely to upset her.”

How absurd it was. Why have a baby if it has to be kept—not in a case like a rare, rare fiddle-but in another woman's arms?

Related Characters: Bertha Young (speaker), Nurse (speaker), Little B
Page Number: 145
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Bliss LitChart as a printable PDF.
Bliss PDF

Nurse Character Timeline in Bliss

The timeline below shows where the character Nurse appears in Bliss. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Bliss
Women’s Roles and Social Constraint Theme Icon
In the nursery, Nurse is feeding Bertha’s infant daughter, Little B, her supper. When the baby sees Bertha, she... (full context)
Women’s Roles and Social Constraint Theme Icon
...Bertha and Bertha is so delighted that she can no longer contain herself and begs Nurse to finish feeding Little B herself. Nurse is irritated and does not think that this... (full context)
Women’s Roles and Social Constraint Theme Icon
Nurse re-enters the nursery and tells Bertha that someone is on the phone for her. Bertha... (full context)