Analysis of “A Cup of Tea”by Katherine Mansfield K.Vasiliev
"A Cup of Tea" by Katherine Mansfield (1888 to 1923-New Zealand) is included in the 1923 collection of her work, The Dove's Nest and Other Stories edited by Mansfield's husband, John Middleton Murry. There is a very moving introduction to this collection in which Murry lets us know details about the next ten stories his wife was going to write. There is a temptation in reading Mansfield to see her work as artistically peaking in 1921 and 1922 given that we know these are her last stories. I sense a rapid growth in her artistic depth during this period but it is a feeling of a writer just starting to find her true power not of a writer at her zenith.
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She took the girl upstairs to her bed room. The girl was very nervous at the unexpected turn of things. But Rosemary was all encouragement. She even helped her take off her clothes. She asked her maid servant to bring her some brandy and then tea. The poor girl was too hungry. She declared that she would faint if she did not take some tea at once. Rosemary gave her tea, sandwiches, and bread and butter. The meal had a very good effect on the girl. She looked much better. Now it was the turn of Rosemary to enquire about the girl and shower her generosity on the poor creature. She was going to begin her enquiry when her husband, Phillip, came in. Rosemary introduced the poor girl, Miss Smith, to him as her friend. Phillip was a little astonished. He asked his wife to come to the library. When they were alone he asked her about the girl. Rosemary told him all about it and her intention to keep the girl in her house and be generous to her. Phillip, a practical man, knew that it was not practical. He told his wife. But Rosemary who knew more of romantic novels than life would not listen to him. She only wondered why it was not possible if it could be possible in books. The husband knew more about life. He replied that it was not possible because Miss Smith was very pretty and he was almost bowled over when he first saw her. He even warned her that it would be a mistake if she kept her in the house. The wise husband’s arrow hit the right