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Word Count: 1,199
In Katherine Mansfields Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding and The Garden Party two female characters in similar positions- the position of mother and wife- are described Despite their shared role the two women - Frau Brechenmacher and Mrs Sheridan- are two very different individuals and their characteristics are understood through Mansfields careful depiction of their actions and dialogues In the short story Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding the Frau is a woman worn down by domestic work Her daily life consists of taking care of her five babies and attending to her dominant husband Throughout the story Frau Brechenmacher is constantly servicing her husband Before the wedding she polished and ironed his outfit and prepared water and towel for him to wash his face with as soon as he return home After the Herr has dressed the Frau groomed him straining at the waist buckle and giving him a little pull here a little tug there She also rushed to put her children to bed and dress herself Frau Brechenmacher is suppressed by the needs of her husband and family She dresses in the dark because her husband needs the light She had not been out of the house weeks past being so busy with caring for the family The busy works of the day flurried her that she felt muddled and stupid the writer describes the stress effect of the lack of power the Frau suffers from After the wedding she returns home from a tiring day only to again service her husband preparing a little supper of meat and bread for her man and taking up the discarded boots which the Herr had flungedinto a corner placing them on the over to dry Lastly before she sleeps she checked her babies and stripped the mattress off the babys bed to see if he was still dry Clearly Frau Brechenmachers life is consumed by caring for her family
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