The Doll’s House

by

Katherine Mansfield

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Kezia Burnell Character Analysis

The youngest Burnell sister, Kezia is more independent and thoughtful than both Isabel and Lottie. Her favorite part of the doll’s house is its small lamp, which she believes fits inside of it perfectly. When Isabel is telling the other girls at school about the house, Kezia reminds her not to forget the lamp, though no one else seems to care about it. Though everyone else ignores or mocks Lil and Else Kelvey, Kezia wants to invite them to see the house. Her mother, Mrs. Burnell, has forbidden her from doing so. Nevertheless, when Kezia sees the Kelveys passing by one afternoon while she is swinging on the white gates of her family’s home, she decides to invite them inside. She ignores the rules of class that the adults in her life have tried to impress upon her, instead offering kindness and friendship to the Kelveys.

Kezia Burnell Quotes in The Doll’s House

The The Doll’s House quotes below are all either spoken by Kezia Burnell or refer to Kezia Burnell. 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:

That is the way for a house to open! Why don’t all houses open like that? How much more exciting than peering through the slit of a door into a mean little hall with a hatstand and two umbrellas! That is—isn’t it?—what you long to know about a house when you put your hand on the knocker. Perhaps it is the way God opens houses at dead of night when He is taking a quiet turn with an angel…

“O-oh!” The Burnell children sounded as though they were in despair. It was too marvelous; it was too much for them. They had never seen anything like it in their lives.

Related Characters: Kezia Burnell, Lil Kelvey, Else Kelvey
Related Symbols: The Doll’s House
Page Number: 314-315
Explanation and Analysis:

But what Kezia liked more than anything, what she liked frightfully, was the lamp. It stood in the middle of the dining-room table, an exquisite little amber lamp with a white globe. It was even filled all ready for lighting, though, of course, you couldn’t light it. But there was something inside that looked like oil, and moved when you shook it.

The father and mother dolls…were really too big for the doll's house. They didn't look as though they belonged. But the lamp was perfect. It seemed to smile at Kezia, to say, “I live here.”

Related Characters: Kezia Burnell, Else Kelvey
Related Symbols: The Lamp
Page Number: 315
Explanation and Analysis:

For the fact was, the school the Burnell children went to was not at all the kind of place their parents would have chosen if there had been any choice. But there was none. It was the only school for miles. And the consequence was all the children in the neighborhood, the Judge’s little girls, the doctor’s daughters, the storekeeper’s children, the milkman’s, were forced to mix together.

Page Number: 316
Explanation and Analysis:

But the line had to be drawn somewhere. It was drawn at the Kelveys. Many of the children, including the Burnells, were not allowed even to speak to them…the Kelveys were shunned by everybody.

Page Number: 316
Explanation and Analysis:

Isabel and Lottie, who liked visitors, went upstairs to change their pinafores. But Kezia thieved out back. Nobody was about; she began to swing on the big white gates of the courtyard. Presently, looking along the road, she saw two little dots. They grew bigger, they were coming towards her…Now she could see that they were the Kelveys. Kezia stopped swinging. She slipped off the gate as if she was going to run away. Then she hesitated. The Kelveys came nearer, and beside them walked their shadows, very long, stretching right across the road with their heads in the buttercups. Kezia clambered back on the gate; she had made up her mind; she swung out.

Related Characters: Kezia Burnell, Lil Kelvey, Else Kelvey
Related Symbols: The White Gates
Page Number: 319
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:

Presently our Else nudged up close to her sister. But now she had forgotten the cross lady. She put out a finger and stroked her sister's quill; she smiled her rare smile.

"I seen the little lamp," she said, softly. Then both were silent once more.

Related Characters: Else Kelvey (speaker), Kezia Burnell, Lil Kelvey
Related Symbols: The Lamp
Page Number: 321
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Doll’s House LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Doll’s House PDF

Kezia Burnell Character Timeline in The Doll’s House

The timeline below shows where the character Kezia Burnell appears in The Doll’s House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Doll’s House
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
...red carpet, plush pillows, beds with actual bedspreads, and kitchen fit with a small stove. Kezia, the youngest, notices a small lamp in particular, which sits on the dining room table... (full context)
Talking vs. Silence Theme Icon
...school, excited to tell everyone about the doll’s house. Isabel warns her sisters Lottie and Kezia that she, as the oldest, ought to be first to tell the other girls about... (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Talking vs. Silence Theme Icon
...only smiles back. Isabel, meanwhile, spills all the juicy details of the doll’s house, and Kezia has to remind her to mention the lamp. No one pays the lamp any attention,... (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
In a flashback, Kezia asks her mother if she may invite the Kelvey’s to see the doll’s house but... (full context)
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
...have arrived at the house. Isabel and Lottie go to change into fresh pinafores, but Kezia sneaks out to the courtyard to swing on its big white gates. (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
While swinging, Kezia notices two small dots along the road in the distance. As they get closer, she... (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
Talking vs. Silence Theme Icon
Kezia says hello and asks the Kelveys if they want to come inside and see the... (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
Provincialism and Pretense  Theme Icon
Else and Lil follow Kezia inside, and Kezia opens the doll’s house for them. When Kezia begins to give them... (full context)
Insiders, Outsiders, and Class Theme Icon
Innocence and Cruelty  Theme Icon
Provincialism and Pretense  Theme Icon
...him in Pullman’s Bush later that night. She feels better now that she has scolded Kezia and scared off Lil and Else. (full context)