THE LITTLE GIRL
By- Katherine Mansfield
The story is based on the theme of a young child’s point of view about her father. Children take time to understand the actions of their elders. Till then, they tend to develop a negative opinion and sometimes even distrust. However, as kids grow older, their attitude towards their elders undergoes change. The theme of this story is based on this process of change that makes little children notice the soft and caring heart of their overtly strict elders.
Parents need to punish their children when it is necessary to do so and children who have been punished exceedingly too much or too less undergo poor development. Kezia’s father belongs to the wrong kind of parents. His act of upbringing his little child was unfit and the instance of his hitting Kezia for ruining his very important speech-sheets was unjustifiably wrong. On one side the sheets were important for him but the fact that Kezia ruined them for making him a birthday gift stands strongly against the father.
The title of the story “The Little Girl” is apt as it is about a little girl Kezia. All the episodes in the story describe the experiences, opinions and observations made by Kezia. This story is in fact narrated from the point of view of Kezia alone. Her views about her father, her mother, her grandmother, their cook Alice, and their neighbours – Macdonalds, let the reader know what a little girl thinks and how she feels regarding the people around her. Thus, the title is appropriate.
Justification of the Title (2)
Kezia’s father was a busy man and she was afraid of him. Her father would always give her instructions but never made any effort to know what she expected from him. She wanted his love and company. He only wanted her to be obedient, disciplined, organised and a perfect person. As a little girl, she couldn’t build up self-confidence to feel free to talk. The entire story moves around her expectations. So, the title is apt and appropriate.