The Doll’s House

by

Katherine Mansfield

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Aunt Beryl Character Analysis

The aunt of Isabel, Lottie, and Kezia Burnell, Aunt Beryl is the sister of Mrs. Burnell and lives with the family in their country home. This implies that she is unmarried and needs to depend on the family financially. Aunt Beryl criticizes the doll’s house when it first arrives, thinking that it smells so strongly of paint that it could make someone ill. Later, she catches Kezia showing the dollhouse to Lil and Else Kelvey and scolds them cruelly, shooing the Kelveys away and slamming the doll’s house closed. She is in some kind of relationship with Willie Brent, which she wants to keep a secret.

Aunt Beryl Quotes in The Doll’s House

The The Doll’s House quotes below are all either spoken by Aunt Beryl or refer to Aunt Beryl. 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:
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Doll’s House published in 1956.
The Doll’s House Quotes

For, really, the smell of paint coming from that doll's house…was quite enough to make any one seriously ill, in Aunt Beryl's opinion. Even before the sacking was taken off. And when it was….

There stood the doll’s house, a dark, oily, spinach green, picked out with bright yellow. Its two solid little chimneys, glued on to the roof, were painted red and white, and the door, gleaming with yellow varnish, was like a little slab of toffee. Four windows, real windows, were divided into panes by a broad streak of green. There was actually a tiny porch, too, painted yellow, with big lumps of congealed paint hanging along the edge.

But perfect, perfect little house! Who could possibly mind the smell? It was part of the joy, part of the newness.

Related Symbols: The Doll’s House
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:

"Off you go immediately!" she called, cold and proud.

They did not need telling twice. Burning with shame, shrinking together, Lil huddling along like her mother, our Else dazed, somehow they crossed the big courtyard and squeezed through the white gate.

Related Characters: Lil Kelvey, Else Kelvey, Aunt Beryl
Related Symbols: The White Gates
Page Number: 320
Explanation and Analysis:

The afternoon had been awful. A letter had come from Willie Brent, a terrifying, threatening letter, saying if she did not meet him that evening in Pulman's Bush, he'd come to the front door and ask the reason why! But now that she had frightened those little rats of Kelveys and given Kezia a good scolding, her heart felt lighter. That ghastly pressure was gone. She went back to the house humming.

Page Number: 321
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Doll’s House LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Doll’s House PDF

Aunt Beryl Character Timeline in The Doll’s House

The timeline below shows where the character Aunt Beryl appears in The Doll’s House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Doll’s House
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Provincialism and Pretense  Theme Icon
...feed-room to let it air out. It smells strongly of paint, so much so that Aunt Beryl thinks it could make someone sick. (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
Provincialism and Pretense  Theme Icon
...house for them. When Kezia begins to give them a tour of the small house, Aunt Beryl suddenly yells at Kezia from the back door for letting the Kelveys inside. Aunt Beryl... (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
Provincialism and Pretense  Theme Icon
Aunt Beryl , it is revealed, had had a terrible afternoon due to a letter she received... (full context)