By Katherine Mansfield


Names of the characters:-

(1) Kezia (A little girl and the main character of the chapter)

(2) Father of Kezia

(3) Mother of Kezia

(4) Grandmother of Kezia

(5) Mr.Macdonald (The person of the next door)

(6) Alice (The cook)


The story, “The Little Girl” by Katherine Mansfield is all about a little girl and her misconception about her father which further is cleared by a small incident. The girl is scared of her father every moment and wants that he should live out of her sight as much as possible. According to his daily routine, the father kisses her daughter on her forehead and leaves for the office in the carriage and the girl, Kezia becomes so happy as her father is not at home now. After returning from his office, her father starts shouting continuously for his tea, Newspapers and slippers. In this moment, Kezia stands silently in the staircase and when is instructed by her mother to remove the shoes of the father, she appears in front of him so silently and so scared. When the father asks any question, she starts to stutter. According to Kezia, her father has a very huge body and he looks like a giant. One day, when she was asked to prepare for a birthday gift for his father next week by the grandmother, she starts preparing a cushion with a piece of yellow silk. After stitching it three sides, she starts to think what should be put in it. After a long search, she goes to her mother’s bed room and takes all the sheets of fine papers from the table, tears them into tiny pieces and fills the cushion. After stitching it from the forth side, she is informed that among the sheets there was also a paper of father’s great speech for the port authority. Even after her explanation, Kezia is beaten a lot by her father with a ruler. After few days, when Kezia watches Mr. Mcdonald, through a gap in the fence, who lived the next door, playing with his five children and entertaining them, she begins to think that fathers should only be like him.

                             One day the mother of Kezia falls ill and the Grandmother with Kezia takes her to the hospital where she is instructed to be admitted there. The Grandmother stays at the hospital with the mother of Kezia. At night, when the cook leaves the house, Kezia has to live with her father. In her dream, she sees a butcher with a knife and a rope having a dreadful smile. Because of fear, she begins to shout and gets up. The father takes her in his arms and goes to her own big bedroom. Then he tells her to sleep. At the very moment she begins to realise that her father is not so strict. He is a poor father and has no one to look after him. He works so hard and need relaxation after returning home. Slowly the concept of father and the mindset of Kezia begins to change completely.          

Summary of other Prose class 9 & 10 : CLICK HERE



I.Answer the following questions in one or two sentences:

Q.1.Why was Kezia afraid of her father?


Kezia was afraid of her father because most of time he used to talk to her harshly and always tried to find out her mistakes.

Q. 2.Who were the people in Kezia’s family?


In Kezia’s family she had her grandmother, mother and father.

Q. 3.What was Kezia’s father’s routine

        a. before going to his office?

        b. after coming back from his   


        c. on Sundays?


  1. Every morning before going to his work, he came into Kezia's room and gave her a casual kiss.

  2. When he came back  home from his office, he  asked for the newspaper and tea .

  3. On Sundays, he used to take rest and prefer sound sleep on the sofa.

Q. 4.In what ways did Kezia’s grandmother encourage her to get to know her father better ?


Kezia’s grandmother encouraged her to go to her father’s room to have a nice talk with him.  she also asked her to make a gift of a pin cushion as her father’s birthday gift.

II. Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answers in two or three paragraphs each.


Q. 1.Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much. How did this happen?


Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him. One day her grandmother suggedted her to make a pin-cushion as a gift for her father. Kezia started doing it and she stitched cotton cloth three sides and looked for the things that could be stuffed into the stitched cloth. Later she found out many sheets of paper related to her father’s speech for the Port Authority. She tore them into pieces and used to make cushion.

One day when her father looked for the papers and did not find them, then he came to know that Kezia had torn them into pieces to make a pin-cushion. He scolded her and punished her by beating on her palm with a ruler. 

Q. 2.Kezia decides that there are “different kinds of fathers”. What kind of father was Mr Macdonald, and how was he different from Kezia’s father?


In Kezia’s opinion, her father was very cruel but her next door neighbour, Mr. McDonald, was a loving and gentle person. Mr McDonald used to play with their children in free time and spent time with their children. He was always smiling and never punished his children. But her father never spent time with her. He was just opposite of Kezia's father.


Q.3. How does Kezia's begin to see her father as a human being who needs her sympathy ?


One night Kezia was left in the care of Alice, the cook because her mother and grandmother were in hospital. She had a nightmare . She called for her grandmother but she found her father beside her bed. He  came to know about her nightmare and took her in his arm and slept next to him. After some time, still half asleep, she came close to him,put her head under his arm and she held tightly to his shirt. Her father told her to rub her feet against his legs and get them warm.

This was the time when Kezia realised that her father was not as harsh as she thought. She realised that her father had to work too hard  and  so tired that he could not play with her. She realised finally that her father was a very good person.

Summary of other prose class 9 & 10 : CLICK HERE

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