The Singing Lesson | critical analysis | by-Katherine Mansfield

Note : Exclusive notes for ISC 2019 exam onwards.
            For fun readers.

         Katherine Mansfield (1888 - 1923) was a writer on her own space anytime. The critics have categorically accepted her contribution evolution of story writing. Her writing style and her psychological story of humans characters have been appreciated - when she was writing short stories, she experimented with her own approach and make them look different from the already collection of popular stories.
         Born and brought up in New Zealand she latter left for UK for her further studies. Those were the days of lot of experiment in literature. And she became a natural writer learning from very prominent writers of modernism like D H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. However she did not loose her original style even surrounded by such great writers of that time .
        In her college she was known for her writing skills and even edited the magazine. Despite her enthusiasm to understand life in different colours, she herself suffered from a very unique tuberculosis. Which alternately lease her to death at the age of 34. The thought of death was always haunting experience through. She was never free from it, as she did know that death near than she ever thought.
Despite having a great number of wonderful friends and lovers, she was deeply into sorrows and abundenment. Her biography describes her differen, and unique. Stating that she was an adventurous spirit. Eagerly trying to grasp experiencing life. But what confused them mysteriocally was how she ended up in disaster.
The story "Singing Lesson" is one of her fablious stories from the collection "The garden party and other stories" published in 1922 - a year before her death. As discussed before this story directly comes from her personal experience of despair, sadness, reliance, desperation and happiness. She loved resolving these psychological conflicts. Which touched a personal life such as love and marriages.
In this story we have a women miss Meadows a music teacher if age 30. She is a protagonist main character of the story like other stories of Mansfield. We have clear indication of thought of racking a person because he was standing at a position where things looked suddenly very dismal and low and when you do not have better thoughts of hope and happiness. When the story starts we have lreciselynthe situation of Miss Meadows.

"With despair cold sharp despair hurried deep in her heart like a wicked knife."

        These lines clearly indicates the mental state of Miss Meadows she is into some deep sorrow. She had further a !better from her Fiancee stating that he could not marry her as he wasent feeling himself to be capable to be a marrying man. This information was a wicked knife in her life. This wicked news become the distraction for her that morning when she was going to her music carrying a little baton (stick) in the school.

        The beginning is certainkyba big indication of deep despair. Look at the choice of words to describe the pains of Miss Meadows. Metaphorically 'Wicked Knife' seems to loud and clear to be unnoticed. However the mention stood here and we are lead to what happens with and around miss Meadows hereafter. Mansfield was very influenced by Virginia Wolf who popularised a very special art of writing and narrating though what is known as 'Streams of Conseousness' in this style, great importance is given to flow of thoughts in a character's mind. The story revolves around these uninterrupted flow of ideas which are hugely responsible for simultaneous actions or events or poring of emotions. Hence, whatever happens through the story is a reflection if this style.
        No sooner does miss Meadows arrive at the school that we can see how she is deeply lost in her thoughts compelled all her thoughts and actions and responses. She met the science mistress who wished her in her 'Sweat Style'. But miss Meadows isn't in a mood to correspond with the sweet freeing of the science mistress. There was nothing wrong in that sweet exchange of greeting. But miss Meadows choose to stare in haste at the teacher. Instead of smiling and returning the freeing courteously , she simply became detached as if she hadent either heard or she chose to be curt (Rudy).
This looks very in descent on the part of miss Meadows , we do agree.But,we also have to keep in mind the turbukance that gas disturbed her ever since she was in her tragic mood. Thereafter there lot such other incidents that make her look rude and I'll mannered. Despite these unexpected response from her , Mansfield focus on what is in Miss Meadows mind. At the music hall, there waited a lively group of young singers - filled with excitement to express their emotions in singing. Even here miss Meadows behaviour looked abnormal and out of routine.
       First , it was Mary Beasley who got a Kielce of this bad tempered music teaher. Everyday, Mary Beasley , the favourites, presented her with a beautiful yellow Chrysanthemum. Priesentation of any flower is good symbol of beautiful relationship shade among human being. Therefore this yellow Chrysanthemum signified respect and love for music teacher. But miss Meadows did nitbat all appreciated this fervour from Mary Beasley. Instead she did exactly what she had done to the science mistress and replied in a voice of eyes , "Page 14 please".
This certainly shocked every one  in the room. They even said - " Meady is in a wax." Miss Meadows tossed her head and speculated this reaction from them the evil would thought to say. This happen when you loose your control of your mind and start anticipating the thoughts and reactions from others. Let's not forget that she wasent at all worried about music class but she was engaged in her own world of chaos created by the !better of her fiancĂ©e.

" I feel more and more strongly to day that our marriage would be a mistake. Not that I don't love you. I lve you as much as it is possible for me to love any women. But truth to tell I have come to the conclusion tha I am not a marrying man , and the idea of settling down fills me with nothing. "

        Generally associated with bad news emergency. Miss Meadows calculated that telegram must have had news of the preside of basin. But quite surprisingly the telegram wasquite amazing. And it said ,

" pay no attention to the letter , must have been made, both had stand today basin."

       It was a source of blessing , those schools rain which quitens and softens the disturbed mind. So, finally basin again became the reason for her happiness. This gave her wings of hope, love and joy. She needed change mood again from sadness to happiness. So, she requested the girls to try page 32 which was early rejected by her when she needed something to shoot her mood. There for the song on page 32, reflected the feling wonderfully.

"We came here today with flowers over ladder, with basket of fruits and boot, to congratulate... "

       What a reverse of situation from happy to sad note initially and now from sad to happy note. 'The singing Lesson". Thus presenc of mind of miss Meadows as she felt to differentiate emotions in course of one singing lesson. Mansfield has clearly indicated this truth in the title that her choice for her story - The Singing Lesson.

I suggest you to get sample papers for your exam preparation, we have given you some links and the books name that will enhance your performance and score :
Science stream Question bank for ISC 2020

Thank you
Kuipeer Information's.
contact us at :