Bliss

by

Katherine Mansfield

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The Pear Tree

The pear tree in “Bliss” symbolizes Bertha’s attraction to Pearl Fulton, a friend she has invited to her dinner party. The tree also represents hidden desire more generally throughout the story. Bertha associates…

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Moonlight

Moonlight represents transformation and illusion in the story. Bertha sees the moon rising when she is looking out at the pear tree before the dinner party and associates this with the transformative potential of the…

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Cats

The appearance of cats in the story imbue Bertha’s joy with a sense of foreboding and symbolize the harmful nature of dishonesty—both to others, and to oneself. While looking out over her garden at the…

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