Solved Short Question and Answer for “The Little Girl” by Katherine Mansfield
1. Why was the little girl afraid of her father?
To the little girl, her father was a figure representing power and dominance. She was scared of him and considered him a figure to be avoided and feared. She feared him to such an extent that she stuttered trying to get the words out from her mouth properly in front of her father. She was terrified of his stares and grave looks. He was big like a giant which made Kezia submissive to him.
2. In what ways did Kezia’s grandmother encourage her to get to know her father better?
On Sunday afternoons, when everyone was in the house, Grandmother used to send Kezia down to have a nice talk with Father and Mother. She even suggested Kezia make him a pin-cushion for his birthday. She also comforted Kezia when father scolded her and tried to convince her to sleep on it and suggested that she would feel better in the morning.
3. What is the funny feeling that came over Kezia?
When Kezia’s father carried her to his bedroom and slept next to her, Kezia observed that her father was so tired that he actually slept off before her. She figured that her father was not so big after all and that he had no one to look after him. He worked every day and was too tired to be a Mr. Macdonald and play with her. She could, perhaps, understand why her father reacted that way when she tore off his writings.
4. Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him. How did this happen?
When Grandmother suggested the little girl to make pin-cushion for a gift to her father on his birthday, the girl started working on it. She stitched three sides but she didn’t know what to fill it with. So, she wandered into Mother’s bedroom to look for scraps. All she could find were some sheets of fine paper on the bed table. She did not know that those were pieces of Father’s great speech for the Port Authority. She tore them into tiny pieces and stuffed the case with it. This made her father very furious and upset.
5. How was Mr. Macdonald different from Kezia’s father?
Mr. Macdonald was Kezia’s neighbor who had five children. He used to play with his children and share lots of laughter with them. Kezia saw him with baby Mao on his shoulders, playing ‘tag’ with his children. He seemed a jovial and friendly father who spent fun times with his children. But Kezia’s father was more serious and strict who punished her for her mistakes. He had an image of a strong, scary and hard man. He was a disciplinarian who made sure that Kezia didn’t commit the same mistake again.
6. Why was Kezia punished?
Kezia, unknowingly, tore her father’s speech for the Port Authority to stuff her pin-cushion with the scraps gathered from it. So, her father decided to teach her a lesson about touching things that do not belong to her. He made her sit up and ordered her to hold out her hands. The little girl was beaten with a ruler on her palms.
7. Why did Kezia stutter in front of her father?
Kezia was scared of her father. She feared him to such an extent that she intended to avoid him whenever possible. There was a great sense of relief when her father left home for work. When her father asked her if she had been a good girl, she stuttered, “I d-d-don’t know, father.” She did not stutter with other people but since she feared her father so much, she was always trying very hard to say the words properly, which made her stutter more.
Solved Long Question and Answer for “The Little Girl” by Katherine Mansfield
1. How does the father’s image change in the eyes of Kezia?
The father is initially presented as a figure to be feared and avoided. He embodies the spirit of dominance and strictness. Kezia feared her father and wished to avoid him. She was not at all close to her father as she was always afraid to talk to him. On grandmother’s command, when she went down to talk to her father on Sunday afternoons, she just stared at her father till he woke up and talked to her.
Kezia started questioning the importance of fathers in one’s life as she was beaten by her father for making him a gift. She had no such intentions of ruining her father’s important speech but, unknowingly, she tore it down and stuffed it inside the pin-cushion that she made her father on his birthday. She was beaten by her father for this unfortunate misconduct. The next time she saw her father, she put both her hands behind her back and a red color flew into her cheeks.
However, one day when she was left alone in the house with the cook, she wished to see her grandmother as she was afraid that the same old nightmare would come to her and there would be nobody to comfort her. But as she started crying out in her sleep, her father came in with a candle, picked her up and took her to his bedroom. He lay beside her and she crept close to him, snuggled her head under his arm and held tightly to his shirt. He was big but not as soft as a grandmother but Kezia found the hardness nice.
Kezia’s father was tired from the day’s work. So, he slept off before the little girl. Kezia suddenly realized that her father was not so big after all and there was no one to take care of him. He realized that he worked so hard every day that he was too tired to be Mr. Macdonald and play with her. She rested her head on her father’s heart and told him what a big heart he has got.
2. What impact did the beating have on Kezia?
Kezia was very upset when she got a beating from her father for making a gift for him. She went to her grandmother for comfort and clung to her soft body. She was disappointed in her father and questioned her grandmother what did God make fathers for. She could never let go of the incident and the next time she her father, she quickly put both her hands behind her back and a red color flew into her cheeks. She watched Mr. Mcdonalds play with his children and figured that there were different types of fathers.
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