Blog 7, Week 8

 Write a letter to Katherine Mansfield thanking her for her insight into the condition of women.


Dear Katherine Mansfield,

Firstly, I would like to state that I very much enjoyed reading work The Daughters of the Late Colonel. The depth of the two sisters brought the work to life and it created an atmosphere of lost and hope. Though these two notions do contradict one another, I thoroughly adored the way that the sisters find hope in being loss without their father.

In particular, the imagery of the birds created in the last scene was fundamental in establishing the outcome of the two sisters I believe. The notion of the young birds being trapped inside the cage is symbolic of the sisters of how they were confined in the authority of their father and that they become lost without the structure that their father created for them. In a way, I feel very similar to the two sisters as my life is structured like them. In my own life, my father is the head figure of our house and his opinion and rules are like law for all of us. Although he is not a dictator and is very open to my siblings and myself, I too like the sisters would feel very lost without him telling us what to do and how to behave in certain environments.  So at the end of the story with the sisters both forgetting what they were about to say, I can understand the situation because their household completely relied on their father telling what to do and how they should behave.

Also with the ending of the novel, I found it quite interesting how you created a beautiful imagery of freedom but then destroyed it as a way to show the insecurities of the girls and how they are unsure what to do with the sensation of freedom yet but having this image ruined, it displays the vulnerability of the girls. This element of vulnerability is so important in your work and I believe it was critical in literature in this time period due to the need and rise of feminism.

Kind Regards

Riley Powers


4 thoughts on “Blog 7, Week 8

  1. Hi Riley,

    Your letter to Katherine Mansfield beautifully recreates the emotion of the scene from “The Daughters of the Late Colonel”.

    I relate to your empathy with the sisters in the story and the role that a strong-minded and guiding parent plays in our own lives. As you get older you will find your own voice, and one day you will be relating this story to your own children, I can almost bet on it!

    As for any critical guidance, I can provide be mindful of the voice you use when writing a letter. At the beginning, you speak directly to Katherine, and then in the second paragraph, you revert to a voice such as that found in a critical essay (which by the way is very good). However, you do go back to addressing Katherine in your letter again in the final paragraph which changes the tone beautifully.

    Also, I think you meant to write “loss” not “lost” in para 1, and I might be wrong about needing to insert quotation marks around the title of the short story. It is possible because you are writing a letter you would not need to apply this grammatical use, but you may need to check this.

    Otherwise, a well written thought provoking work that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing your insight with us!



    1. Hi Anne-Marie, thank you for pointing that my language changes half way through my letter. I have noticed that I sometimes do that unintentionally. I appreciate any comments on my writing style 🙂


  2. A lovely entry Riley! I liked especially the way you linked this to your own experience. That made your comments really come alive. You also have a great sense of the daughters’ vulnerability.
    *Please attend to editing your work carefully. Here is what I have picked up:
    *the sisters find hope in being loss without their father.= the sisters find hope in being LOST without their father.
    *confined in the authority of their father = confined BY the authority of their father


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