We're going to analyze this excerpt taken from the short story “The Voyage”, written by by the modernist writer Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923). The writer was born in Wellington, New Zealand then she got part of her education at Queen's College, London, and returned to live there from 1908. This short story from 1922 is one of her late stories and was posthumously published in the collection The Garden Party in 1923.
The story is about Fenella, a little girl who is going to travel with her grandmother and say goodbye to her father. The voyage will turn into a symbolic change of life of Fenella after her mother died. The theme of the story is the the transition from dark to light and this symbolizes the transition from childhood to adulthood which Fenella is going through.
This excerpt focuses in the characters Fenella, her father and grandmother being in a hurry to the harbour. Fenella is the protagonist and the one who is describing this situation, it's not easy to know how old is Fenella because it's not told in the story, we have to fit together the pieces of information given in the whole story. Fenella is described implicitly as we know in modernism they give implicit description rather than explicit. Through the way she sees the world and her impressions of situations, we can understand that she is not a very old girl. For example, as we see in this excerpt she “had to give an undignified little skip“ (line 19) to catch up with her father and grandmother. Also she compare her luggage with a sausage as we see in line 20, so we can clearly see that Fenella is described implicitly has a great and childlike imagination and show us that she is still a child. Also “Fenella” has a telling name because it comes from Latin “finir(e)” which means end and “ella” which in Italian means small, it's a way to say “she finished with the child inside her”.
Furthemore, Mansfield as a modernist writer uses a lot of symbolism, in tthis...