3. She never stuttered with other people — had quite given it up — but only with Father, because then she was trying so hard to say the words properly.
“What’s the matter? What are you looking so wretched about? Mother, I wish you taught this child not to appear on the brink of suicide... Here, Kezia, carry my teacup back to the table carefully.”
He was so big — his hands and his neck, especially his mouth when he yawned. Thinking about him alone was like thinking about a giant.
Kezia recollects that she had never exactly had a problem with speaking. She usually never stuttered with other people. But she stuttered quite often when she had to converse with her father. She had earlier had a problem with speaking, which she had given up. She had practised on it and mustered the courage to rectify the trouble. Usually, when people are self conscious about what they are speaking or to whom they are speaking, they tend to stutter. Kezia had the desperate need to always be right in front of her father. She was scared of him because she did not know him properly. Trying very hard to make everything right in front of her father was Kezia's way of getting to know him well. Also, when she was very conscious of what she was saying, it made her nervous, thereby creating more problems for her. Looking for perfection can only cause imperfections.
The little girl is nervous
When her father sees that she looks nervous, he does not call her over and ask her what is wrong. Instead, he raises his voice, asking her what was wrong. He asks her what makes her look wretched. He also blames his wife for not bringing up Kezia well, as she usually spends a lot of time at home with her mother. He also compares Kezia's look with someone who has lost hope in life and is about to end his/her life. He urges her mother to teach her how to look at people. He also orders Kezia to carry his teacup back to the table carefully. When someone stresses on doing things carefully, it is easier to get more cautious. Kezia also feels that he looks like a giant as he appeared to be so big in comparison to her tiny figure. She even notices that he looks scary when he yawns. She paints a picture of her father as a giant figure who yawns.
The little girl was scared of her father's yawn
Words with difficult meaning:
|Wretched||In a bad form|
|Brink of suicide||About to end one's life|
|Yawn||Involuntarily opening one's mouth due to feeling sleepy|
|Self conscious||Becoming more aware of one's actions|
|Rectify||To make things right|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Little Girl - Katherine Mansfield (pp.32-35). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.