Social Discrimination and Social Injustice

Updated May 5, 2022

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Social Discrimination and Social Injustice essay

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In the world today, discrimination is one of the biggest downfalls of society. It is a terrible thing that has been present in people forever. But why is it still an issue, even after everything the people in the world have been through? Katherine Mansfield’s story “The Doll’s House” shows one way a person, or a group of people, can do an injustice to others. The theme of social class discrimination, as horrible as it can be, is portrayed throughout the story by the characterization of everyone, the external struggles of the Kelvey sisters, and the symbolism that is shown. When the Kelvey sisters are first introduced in the story, social discrimination is obvious especially when they have to experience external conflicts with the other children. Isabel and her group of friends even mock them by saying how they were just going to be servants when they grow older. The only reason that kind of thing would be said about them is that of where they stand on the social scale. If the Kelveys’ mother, or father for that matter, had a job like theirs, they would never be made fun of or shunned by anyone. Not only do they have to just listen to everyone talk about the Burnell girls’ new dollhouse and how they got to see it, but when Kezia finally invites them in to see it, Aunt Beryl “shooed them out as if they were chickens,” (Mansfield 351). Why do the adults in the story have to be just as bad as the children when it comes down to the way they get treated? It always goes back to their status on the social scale, how much money is made, and how much they have to spend, which is terrible within itself. Another way Katherine Mansfield better portrayed the theme of social discrimination was through the characterization of both the children and adults in the story. It is apparent that the Burnell girls, except Kezia, are defined by their social level. They are not alone in that sense because almost everyone else, through their words and actions, allows themselves to be spiteful towards two children and their mother. It’s not always just the children too, “Even the teacher had a special voice for them…,” (Mansfield 348). Though when it is the children, like when Emmie Cole told Lil, “Is it true you’re going to be a servant when you grow up…,” it is shown that the characterization of the sisters lets the readers know of their innocence and how they do not let the others discourage them (Mansfield 349). By the actions and words of almost everyone, it helps to better show social injustice. One of the final ways that show social discrimination within the story would have to be with the symbolism that is shown throughout. The doll’s house can symbolize where the Burnells fall on the social class scale since the readers can infer that they are the only ones to actually have one. The lamp represents a sense of welcoming and warmth along with the fact that it shone a light of kindness to Else Kelvey. She even spoke for the first time in the story saying, “I seen the little lamp,” which shows how she, at last, felt included by someone who is kind and does not see the social class (Mansfield 352). Something that could easily go unnoticed would have to be how Kezia, Lil, and Else never really speak to the others, which can be symbolism to the fact that Kezia finds herself the same as them, ignoring their social classes. Also with the Kelveys almost never speaking in the story can show how they do not have a voice in life and get excluded due to their position on the scale. In conclusion, the theme of social class discrimination, despite how terrible it is, can be shown throughout Katherine Mansfield’s story “The Doll’s House” and is portrayed with the characterization of everyone in the story, the external conflicts faced by the Kelvey sisters, and the symbolism that is throughout all of it. As terrible as it is, social injustice is shown with the way the Kelvey sisters are made fun of and shunned by almost everyone in the story, excluding Kezia. When Kezia decided to show the Kelveys her dollhouse, it was as if she broke a social barrier between them giving the Kelveys a sense of warmth and kindness. Only if everyone could at least try to be more like Kezia, the most imaginable things would happen.

Social Discrimination and Social Injustice essay

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Social Discrimination and Social Injustice. (2022, May 05). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/social-discrimination-and-social-injustice/


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