Class 9- “The Little Girl” Complete Explanation

the little girl,Kezia,katherine mansfield

Chapter 3, Katherine Mansfield’s “The Little Girl” Summary, Theme, Character Sketch, Important Passages, Textbook Exercises and Question Answers.

Next on Beehive: Rain on the Roof” by Coates Kinney


  • Casual: relaxed and unconcerned.
  • Terrifying: causing extreme fear.
  • Laboriously: with great effort or difficulty.
  • Hue and cry: a loud clamour or outcry, typically as a protest.
  • Clung: past tense of cling; held on tightly to something.
  • Whispery: characterised by soft, low, calm sounds or speech.
  • Snuggled: Settled or moved into a warm, comfortable position.
  • Tucked up: arranged bedclothes tidily around.
  • Carriage: a vehicle with four wheels drawn by horses for transporting people.
  • Pin-cushion: a small cushion used for holding pins.
  • Port Authority: a government or quasi-governmental agency responsible for a specific port or port.

Summary “The Little Girl”:

“The Little Girl” by Katherine Mansfield portrays the strained relationship between a young girl and her stern father. The father’s authoritarian behaviour instils fear in the girl, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts. Despite her efforts to please him, such as making a birthday gift, she faces harsh punishment for unintentional mistakes. However, a moment of vulnerability arises when the girl experiences a nightmare, and her father shows unexpected tenderness by comforting her. Through this incident, the girl begins to see her father in a new light, recognising his flaws and capacity for kindness.

Theme “The Little Girl”:

1. Understanding Different Facets of Fatherhood:

The story explores the varied aspects of father-daughter relationships, highlighting tender moments and challenges. Through the little girl’s experiences, readers witness contrasting father figures: one distant and imposing, the other warm and engaged. It depicts the girl’s realisation that not all fathers are alike, prompting her to question the role of fathers in her life. Themes of fear, love, and disappointment emerge as she navigates her understanding of paternal care. Ultimately, the story emphasises the complexity of familial bonds and the significance of empathy in interpreting others’ actions.

2. Empathy and Perspective:

The story delves into the importance of empathy and understanding different perspectives. It showcases how the little girl perceives her father’s actions and demeanour, initially fearing him and feeling distant. However, her perspective evolves as she witnesses other fatherly figures and experiences. Through empathy, she begins to grasp the complexities of her father’s behaviour, realising his struggles and shortcomings. This theme highlights the power of empathy in fostering deeper connections and challenging initial judgments. It encourages readers to consider varying viewpoints and recognise the humanity in others, ultimately promoting compassion and understanding in relationships.

Character Sketch: 

1. Character Sketch: Kezia

Kezia is the central character in the story, a young girl navigating the complexities of familial relationships and her understanding of the world.

  • Initial Timidity: At the story’s beginning, Kezia is depicted as timid and fearful, particularly in her interactions with her father. She demonstrates hesitation and anxiety, reflecting her discomfort with his stern demeanour.
  • Resilience and Innocence: Kezia exhibits resilience and retains a tender innocence despite her initial timidity. Her efforts to please her father with a handmade gift demonstrate her desire for connection and approval.
  • Evolution of Understanding: As the story progresses, Kezia’s character evolves, reflecting her growing understanding of the world around her. Through observations of neighbouring families and her own experiences, she begins to question and analyse her familial relationships.
  • Capacity for Empathy: Despite facing disappointment and fear, Kezia demonstrates a capacity for empathy and forgiveness. Rather than simply resenting her father’s actions, she seeks to comprehend them, reflecting a mature and compassionate outlook.

Kezia emerges as a character marked by sensitivity, introspection, and a burgeoning sense of empathy. Her journey of self-discovery and understanding forms a central narrative arc, enriching the story’s exploration of familial dynamics and human relationships.

2. Character Sketch: Father

The father is a prominent character in the story, portrayed as a figure of authority within the family dynamic.

  • Authoritarian Presence: From the outset, the father is depicted as an authoritative figure, evoking fear and trepidation in his daughter, Kezia. His commanding presence and stern demeanour create an atmosphere of tension within the household.
  • Distant and Imposing: The father remains distant and imposing throughout the story, with little warmth or tenderness in his interactions with his daughter. His behaviour towards Kezia is characterised by commands and criticism rather than empathy or understanding.
  • Lack of Emotional Connection: Despite his role as a father, the character exhibits a notable lack of emotional connection with Kezia. His focus on authority and discipline overshadows attempts to nurture a deeper bond with his daughter.
  • Complexity and Vulnerability: Hints of complexity and vulnerability emerge beneath his authoritarian facade. Instances such as his reaction to Kezia’s handmade gift suggest underlying layers of emotion and perhaps regret, hinting at a more nuanced portrayal of his character.
  • Limited Understanding: The father’s limited understanding of Kezia’s perspective and emotional needs contributes to the strained nature of their relationship. His inability to empathise with her experiences perpetuates a cycle of distance and misunderstanding.

The father emerges as a multifaceted character, defined by his authoritarian presence, lack of emotional connection, and underlying vulnerability. His role within the family dynamic serves as a focal point for exploring themes of paternal authority, empathy, and familial relationships.

Important Passages/ Lines: 

1. “Every morning before going to work he came into her room and ………………………..the noise of the carriage growing fainter and fainter down the long road!” This passage highlights the routine interaction between the father and the little girl. The father’s daily kiss is met with a polite response from the girl, but internally, she feels relief when he leaves for work, suggesting a sense of discomfort or unease in his presence.

2. “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.” Here, the father’s physical presence is emphasised, portraying him as a large and imposing figure through the eyes of the little girl. This description contributes to the intimidation and fear surrounding the father’s interactions with his daughter.

3. “Then Father came into the room with a ruler in his hands. ‘I am going to beat you for this,’ he said.” This passage depicts the father’s use of physical punishment, indicating a harsh and authoritarian parenting style. The presence of the ruler and the threat of beating further reinforce the little girl’s sense of fear and apprehension towards her father.

4. “But the child never forgot. Next time she saw him she quickly put both hands behind her back and a red colour flew into her cheeks.” This passage illustrates the lasting impact of the father’s actions on the little girl. Her instinctive reaction to hide her hands and her flushed cheeks upon seeing him again suggest ongoing fear and anxiety in his presence, even after the initial incident has passed.

5. “Then it was she decided there were different sorts of fathers.” The little girl’s realisation that there are different types of fathers suggests a shift in her understanding of paternal relationships. This insight may stem from observing the interactions between her father and the neighbouring MacDonald family, contrasting the authoritarian nature of her father with the warmth and playfulness of Mr MacDonald. This realization foreshadows the development of the little girl’s perspective on family dynamics and parental roles.

6. “Suddenly, one day, Mother became ill, and she and Grandmother went to hospital……………………but while Alice was putting her to bed she grew suddenly afraid.” This passage marks a significant shift in the little girl’s circumstances as her mother falls ill and both her mother and grandmother are hospitalised. Left alone in the house with only the cook, the little girl experiences fear and vulnerability, particularly evident during bedtime when she feels unsettled without the presence of her mother or grandmother.

7. “He blew out the candle, bent down and caught up the child in his arms, …………………………………then carefully tucked up the child. He lay down beside her.” Here, the father’s response to the little girl’s fear is depicted. He extinguishes the candle, symbolising the dispelling of darkness and fear, then carries her to his bedroom. His actions of tucking her in and lying beside her demonstrate a protective and comforting gesture, offering reassurance and security in the absence of her mother and grandmother.

8. “Tired out, he slept before the little girl. A funny feeling came over her. Poor Father, not so big, after all — and with no one to look after him. ……………….She had torn up all his beautiful writing… She stirred suddenly, and sighed.” The girl’s perception of her father shifts as she sees him asleep. She notices his vulnerability and responsibilities, contrasting with his intimidating presence. Her mix of warmth and complex feelings towards him is revealed.

The mention of tearing up his writing suggests a previous innocent act, while her sigh may indicate a moment of reflection or understanding of her father’s efforts. This passage delves into the little girl’s evolving perception of her father, showcasing a blend of empathy, acceptance, and introspection.

9. “Oh,” said the little girl, “my head’s on your heart. I can hear it going. What a big heart you’ve got, Father dear.” The little girl expresses affection and appreciation towards her father in this final passage. She feels a sense of connection and tenderness towards him by resting her head on his chest and hearing his heartbeat. Her remark about his “big heart” reflects a literal and metaphorical interpretation, suggesting his physical heart and capacity for love and compassion. This moment signifies a shift in their relationship from fear and uncertainty to closeness and understanding.

10. “He blew out the candle, bent down and caught up the child in his arms, carrying her along the passage to the big bedroom. A newspaper was on the bed. He put away the paper, then carefully tucked up the child. He lay down beside her.” In this passage, the father shows care and concern for his daughter’s well-being by extinguishing the candle and carrying her to his bedroom.

His gestures of tucking her into bed and lying beside her symbolise his willingness to offer support and protection, fostering a sense of closeness and reassurance in their relationship. The passage highlights a shift in dynamics, revealing a softer and more nurturing side of the father that contrasts with his earlier authoritarian demeanour.

Questions Answers “The Little Girl”: 

Thinking About The Text:

I. Given below are some emotions that Kezia felt. Match the emotions in Column A with the items in Column B.

1. fear or terror 
2. glad sense of relief 
3. a “funny” feeling, perhaps 
(i) father comes into her room to give her a goodbye kiss
(ii) noise of the carriage grows fainter
(iii) father comes homeof understanding 
(iv) speaking to father
(v) going to bed when alone at home
(vi) father comforts her and falls asleep
(vii) father stretched out on the sofa, snoring


1. fear or terror

(iv) speaking to father

(v) going to bed when alone at home

2. glad sense of relief

(i) father comes into her room to give her a goodbye kiss

(ii) noise of the carriage grows fainter

(vii) father stretched out on the sofa, snoring

3. a “funny” feeling, perhaps of understanding

(vi) father comforts her and falls asleep

(iii) father comes home of understanding 

II. Answer the following questions in one or two sentences.

1. Why was Kezia afraid of her father?

A1: Kezia was afraid of her father due to his authoritarian and intimidating behaviour. He used physical punishment, such as threatening to beat her with a ruler, and exhibited a harsh demeanour, causing fear and unease in their interactions.

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

A2: Kezia’s family consisted of her father, mother, grandmother, and herself. Alice, the cook, and the MacDonald family, who were neighbours, were mentioned.

3. What was Kezia’s father’s routine

(i) before going to his office?

A(i): Before going to his office, he would come into Kezia’s room, give her a casual kiss, and bid her goodbye.

(ii) after coming back from his office?

A(ii): After returning from his office, he would expect his tea to be brought to the drawing room, inquire about the newspaper, and request his slippers from his wife.

(iii) on Sundays?

A(iii): On Sundays, he would be found stretched out on the sofa, often snoring, while Kezia’s mother read and Kezia herself attempted to engage with him.

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

A4: Kezia’s grandmother encouraged her to get to know her father better by suggesting activities like making him a pin cushion for his birthday and talking to him on Sunday afternoons.

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

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

A1: Kezia’s efforts to please her father displeased him greatly when she unknowingly tore up his important papers to make a pin cushion for his birthday gift. Despite her intention to create a thoughtful present, her action caused significant inconvenience and frustration for her father, leading to severe punishment and further straining their relationship.

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?

A2: Kezia decides that Mr MacDonald, the neighbour, is a different kind of father than her own. Mr. MacDonald appeared more affectionate, playful, and involved with his children. He engaged in activities such as playing with his children in the garden, displaying warmth and laughter. In contrast, Kezia’s father was depicted as authoritarian, distant, and stern, lacking the warmth and connection observed in Mr. MacDonald’s parenting style.

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

A3: Kezia begins to see her father as a human being who needs her sympathy when she witnesses him sleeping and recognises his vulnerabilities and struggles. Despite his intimidating demeanour during waking hours, seeing him asleep shifts her perception. She empathises with his fatigue and responsibilities, acknowledging his hardships and the burden of his role. This realisation fosters a sense of understanding and compassion towards her father, leading to a more nuanced and empathetic view of him as a person with his challenges and emotions.

Thinking About Language:

I. Look at the following sentence.

There was a glad sense of relief when she heard the noise of the carriage growing


Here, glad means happy about something.

Glad, happy, pleased, delighted, thrilled and overjoyed are synonyms (words or expressions that have the same or nearly the same meaning.) However, they express happiness in certain ways.


1. Use an appropriate word from the synonyms given above in the following sentences. Clues are given in brackets.

(i) She was thrilled by the news of her brother’s wedding. (very pleased)

(ii) I was delighted to be invited to the party. (extremely pleased and excited about)

(iii) She was overjoyed at the birth of her granddaughter. (extremely happy)

(iv) The coach was pleased with his performance. (satisfied about)

(v) She was very happy with her results. (happy about something that has happened)

2. Study the use of the word big in the following sentence.

He was so big — his hands and his neck, especially his mouth…

Here, big means large in size.


(i) You are a big girl now. older

(ii) Today you are going to take the biggest decision of your career. Significant 

(iii) Their project is full of big ideas. Important 

(iv) Cricket is a big game in our country. Popular 

(v) I am a big fan of Lata Mangeskar. Huge

(vi) You have to cook a bit more as my friend is a big eater.  Large Quantity

(vii) What a big heart you’ve got, Father dear. Generous 

II. Verbs of Reporting:

The italicised words are verbs of reporting. We quote or report what someone has said or thought by using a reporting verb. Every reporting clause contains a reporting verb. For example:

• He promised to help in my project.

• “How are you doing?” Seema asked

We use verbs of reporting to advise, order, report statements, thoughts, intentions, questions, requests, apologies, manner of speaking and so on.

1. Underline the verbs of reporting in the following sentences.

(i) He says he will enjoy the ride.

(ii) Father mentioned that he was going on a holiday.

(iii) No one told us that the shop was closed.

(iv) He answered that the price would go up.

(v) I wondered why he was screaming.

(vi) Ben told her to wake him up.

(vii) Ratan apologised for coming late to the party.

2. Some verbs of reporting are given in the box. Choose the appropriate verbs and fill in the blanks in the following sentences.


(i) “I am not afraid,” remarked the woman.

(ii) “Leave me alone,” shouted my mother.

(iii) The children were complaining that the roads were crowded and noisy.

(iv) “Perhaps he isn’t a bad sort of a chap after all,” replied the master.

(v) “Let’s go and look at the school ground,” suggested the sports teacher.

(vi) The traffic police ordered all the passers-by to keep off the road.


Form pairs or groups and discuss the following questions.

1. This story is not an Indian story. But do you think there are fathers, mothers and grandmothers like the ones portrayed in the story in our own country?

2. Was Kezia’s father right to punish her? What kind of a person was he?

Critical Points for Class Discussion:

Question 1:

1. Begin by discussing the story’s portrayal of family dynamics. Point out examples of the father’s behaviour, the mother’s role, and the grandmother’s influence.
2. Reflect on whether similar family dynamics exist in your own country. Share personal experiences or observations, if applicable.
3. Consider cultural influences on family relationships and parenting styles. Discuss how societal norms and values shape family dynamics.
4. Explore the universality of familial roles and interactions. Discuss whether the themes of authority, affection, and conflict resonate across different cultures.
5. Conclude by reflecting on the diversity of family experiences and the commonalities that unite families worldwide.

Question 2:

1. Begin by examining Kezia’s father’s actions and their impact on Kezia. Discuss instances of his behaviour, such as his strictness, disciplinary actions, and interactions with Kezia.
2. Consider whether Kezia’s father’s punishment was justified. Discuss differing perspectives on discipline and parenting.
3. Explore the complexity of Kezia’s father’s character. Discuss his motivations, values, and the influence of societal expectations on his behaviour.
4. Evaluate Kezia’s father’s parenting style. Discuss the implications of his strictness, authority, and lack of empathy on Kezia’s development.
5. Reflect on Kezia’s father’s redeeming qualities, if any. Discuss moments of affection or care, and consider whether his actions were driven by love or duty.
6. Conclude by discussing the broader implications of Kezia’s father’s character and actions and consider his portrayal of parental authority and familial relationships.

Sample Discussion (Informal Speech):

Question 1:

Student A: You know, there are fathers, mothers, and grandmothers like the ones in the story in our own country. I’ve heard my friends talk about their parents and grandparents; some sound strict, like Kezia’s father. And I’ve seen my grandmother being very traditional and sometimes a bit stern.

Student B: Yeah, my dad can be pretty strict, too, especially when studying. He always expects me to do well in school, just like Kezia’s father expects her to behave appropriately.

Student A: But it’s not just about being strict, right? Like Kezia’s grandmother, I’ve also seen my mom caring and affectionate. She always ensures we’re okay and cares for us when we’re sick.

Student B: That’s true. There’s a mix of different kinds of parents and grandparents in our country, just like in the story. Some can be strict and undemonstrative, while others are more loving and caring.

Question 2:

Student C: Hmm, was Kezia’s father right to punish her? He was really strict with her, but maybe he just wanted her to behave appropriately.

Student D: Yes, but I don’t think punishing her like that was right. He could have talked to her calmly instead of yelling and getting angry.

Student C: That’s true. He seemed short-tempered and didn’t seem to understand Kezia’s feelings. Things would have been different if he had been more understanding and affectionate.

Student D: Exactly. Kezia’s father was too strict and disciplined. He didn’t seem to show much affection or care towards Kezia, which isn’t fair.

Student C: Yes, I agree. Like Kezia’s grandmother, parents should discipline their kids and show love and understanding.


Has your life been different from or similar to that of Kezia when you were a child? Has your perception about your parents changed now? Do you find any change in your parents’ behaviour vis-à-vis yours? Who has become more understanding? What steps would you like to take to build a relationship based on understanding? Write three or four paragraphs (150–200 words) discussing these issues from your own experience.

Sample Paragraph:

As a teenager, my childhood experiences have had similarities and differences compared to Kezia’s life. Like her, my parents intimidated or misunderstood me due to strict discipline or high expectations. However, I’ve also experienced warmth and understanding from them, similar to Kezia’s interactions with her grandmother.

As I’ve grown older, my perception of my parents has evolved. I now understand that their intentions were always rooted in love and a desire to guide me towards success. While sometimes frustrated by their rules or decisions, I realise they did their best to raise me well.

As I’ve matured, I’ve noticed a shift towards greater understanding and mutual respect from my parents. They seem more willing to listen to my perspective and consider my opinions, strengthening our relationship. Similarly, I’ve become more understanding of their challenges as parents.

I’ll continue fostering open communication and empathy within my family to build a relationship based on understanding. By listening, being honest, and finding compromises, we can strengthen our bond and face life’s challenges together.

Extra Questions “The Little Girl”:

Short Answer Type Questions: 

Q1: How does the little girl perceive her father’s presence in her life?

A1: The little girl perceives her father as a figure to be feared and avoided, with his morning kisses signalling a departure she welcomes. His authoritative demands and stern demeanour create a sense of unease and apprehension for her, making his presence something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

Q2: How does the father interact with the little girl?

A2: The father interacts with the little girl domineeringly, assigning tasks and criticising her speech impediment. His questioning of her behaviour and harsh response to her efforts to please him foster an atmosphere of fear and tension between them, with his presence looming as a source of apprehension.

Q3: What is the little girl’s relationship with her father like during childhood?

A3: During her childhood, the little girl’s relationship with her father is fraught with tension and misunderstanding. She struggles to meet his expectations but is criticised and punished instead of understanding and support. His imposing presence and strict demeanour create a sense of distance and fear rather than warmth and affection.

Q4: How does the little girl perceive other fathers compared to her own?

A4: The little girl perceives other fathers, such as the McDonald’s father, as more caring and affectionate than her own. Observing their playful interactions and evident love for their children contrasts sharply with her father’s sternness and lack of emotional connection, leading her to recognise the different kinds of fatherhood.

Q5: What incident leads to a shift in the little girl’s perception of her father?

A5: The comforting incident, where her father comforts her during a nightmare, significantly shifts the little girl’s perception of her father. His unexpected tenderness and care at that moment reveal a softer side to him, prompting her to reassess her views and begin to see him in a more positive light.

Q6: How does the little girl’s perception of her father change after the comforting incident?

Q6: After the comforting incident, the little girl’s perception of her father transforms. She empathises with him, recognising his efforts and burdens despite his shortcomings. This newfound understanding fosters an appreciation for his kindness and protection, leading her to view him with more warmth and affection.

Q7: How does the little girl’s perception of her father evolve beyond the comforting incident?

A7: Following the comforting incident, the little girl’s perception of her father deepens as she notices his vulnerabilities and struggles. She starts to understand the complexities of his role as a provider and protector, empathising with the pressures he faces. This newfound empathy fosters a sense of compassion and forgiveness towards him, transcending her previous fear and resentment.

Q8: How does the little girl understand her father’s actions influence her behaviour?

A8: The girl’s understanding of her father’s actions makes her reflect on her behaviour. She becomes more patient and empathetic, leading to a more harmonious relationship.

Q9: How does the little girl reconcile her father’s shortcomings with his acts of kindness?

A9: The little girl learns to see beyond her father’s faults and focus on his acts of kindness and protection. Despite his shortcomings and moments of harshness, she acknowledges his efforts to comfort and support her, fostering a sense of gratitude and connection towards him.

Q10: “How does the little girl’s perception of her father change throughout the story, and why?”

A10: The little girl’s perception of her father shifts from fear and avoidance to empathy and appreciation. Initially seen as stern and imposing, a comforting incident reveals his softer side, fostering understanding. Empathy grows as she recognises his struggles, leading to a deeper appreciation for his love and protection despite his flaws.

Q11: How does the little girl feel when removing her father’s boots, and why does she stutter in his presence?

A11: The little girl feels a mixture of apprehension and reluctance when removing her father’s boots. This duty carries a sense of obligation and subservience, amplifying her fear of displeasing him. Her stuttering in his presence reflects her nervousness and the pressure to meet his expectations, creating a tense atmosphere during their interactions.

Q12: Why does the little girl feel intimidated by her father’s size and mannerisms, particularly when he yawns?

A12: The little girl is intimidated by her father’s imposing size and commanding presence. His yawning, a seemingly mundane action, magnifies his physical dominance and reinforces her sense of smallness and vulnerability in his presence. His large stature and authoritative demeanour make her perceive him as formidable, evoking feelings of unease and intimidation.

Q13: How does the little girl react to her father’s birthday approaching, and what gift does she attempt to make for him?

A13: As her father’s birthday draws near, the little girl eagerly attempts to express her affection by crafting a homemade gift—a pin cushion made from a piece of yellow silk. Despite her genuine effort to please him, her innocence leads her to inadvertently cause distress when she unknowingly uses important papers for stuffing, illustrating her well-intentioned but misguided actions.

Q14: How does the little girl feel after being punished by her father, and what comfort does she seek from her grandmother?

A14: Following her punishment by her father, the little girl experiences a profound sense of sadness and isolation. The emotional weight of his reprimand weighs heavily on her, leaving her feeling sad and alone. Seeking solace, she turns to her grandmother for comfort, longing for the warmth and reassurance only familial love can provide in distress.

Q15: How does the little girl’s perception of her father change when her mother falls ill and she is left alone with him?

A15: The little girl’s perception of him transforms when her mother falls ill and she is left alone with her father. In this vulnerable moment, she discovers a different side of her father—one characterised by care and protection. His comforting presence during her nightmare contrasts sharply with previous experiences, prompting her to reconsider her understanding of him and fostering a newfound sense of security in their relationship.

Long Answer Type Questions: 

Q1: How does the little girl’s perception of her father change from the beginning to the end of the story, and what factors contribute to this transformation?

A1: At the story’s beginning, the little girl perceives her father as a figure to be feared and avoided, evoking anxiety and discomfort. However, as the story progresses, a comforting incident in which her father shows unexpected tenderness during her nightmare leads to a significant shift in her perception. She begins to empathise with him, understanding his burdens and struggles. 

This newfound empathy encourages a deeper appreciation for his efforts and protection, transcending her initial fear. Factors contributing to this transformation include the revelation of her father’s softer side, her growing understanding of his complexities, and the recognition of his love and care despite his flaws.

Q2: How does the little girl perceive her father’s presence in the household, and what emotions does she associate with his departure from work?

A2: The little girl perceives her father’s presence in the household as imposing and intimidating. His authoritative demeanour instils fear in her, as she often feels hesitant and apprehensive when interacting with him. His departure from work relieves her, characterised by a glad sense of escape from his intimidating presence. 

The noise of his carriage fading into the distance signifies a reprieve from his commanding figure. Despite her filial duty to bid him farewell, her emotions are tinged with relief, reflecting a desire for distance from his dominant influence in the household.

Q3: What consequences does the little girl face when her father’s important papers are inadvertently destroyed, and how does she respond?

A3: Chaos ensues when the little girl inadvertently destroys her father’s important papers. Her actions lead to a frantic search and heightened tension among the family members. Her mother’s dismay and her father’s anger are directed towards her, causing her distress and guilt. Despite her genuine but misguided attempt to create a gift for her father, her innocence results in unintended consequences. 

In response to the situation, she is overwhelmed with remorse and sadness, realising the gravity of her actions. She struggles to explain herself but ultimately faces her father’s wrath and a punishment that leaves her deeply shaken.

Q4: How does the little girl react when confronted by her father regarding the destroyed papers, and what punishment does she receive?

A4: When confronted by her father regarding the destroyed papers, the little girl initially denies her involvement, whispering a timid “N-n-no.” However, her attempt to conceal the truth fails, and she ultimately confesses to her actions, albeit under duress. Her father’s anger remains unabated despite her explanation that she tore up the papers for her surprise gift. 

In response to her actions, she is subjected to a harsh punishment—dragged down to where her father paces with a ruler. She is ordered to sit up and hold out her hands, enduring the physical pain inflicted upon her as a lesson against touching what does not belong to her.

Q5: What realisation does the little girl have about her father’s behaviour compared to the Macdonald family’s father?

A5: The little girl realises a stark contrast between her father’s behaviour and that of the McDonald family’s father. While her father is authoritative, imposing, and often distant, the McDonald’s father appears affectionate, playful, and engaged with his children. Witnessing the McDonald’s father’s playful interactions and laughter with his children, the little girl recognises the warmth and nurturing presence that her father lacks. 

This realisation prompts her to understand that there are different types of fathers—some strict and distant, like her own, and others loving and involved, like Mr Macdonald. This comparison promotes a deeper understanding of her family dynamics and shapes her perception of paternal roles and behaviours.

Q6: What recurring nightmare does the little girl experience, and how does her father respond when she wakes up frightened?

A6: The little girl experiences a recurring nightmare where she imagines a butcher wielding a knife and a rope, inching closer to her with a menacing smile. In her terror, she calls out for her grandmother, seeking comfort and reassurance. When she wakes up frightened from this nightmare, her father responds with concern and tenderness. 

He comforts her by blowing out the candle, carrying her to the big bedroom, and tucking her beside him. He creates a sense of safety by his presence. He provides physical closeness and warmth, soothing her anxieties and allowing her to find peace.

Q7: How does the little girl’s attitude towards her father evolve after he comforts her during a nightmare?

A7: After her father comforts her during a nightmare, the little girl’s attitude towards him significantly shifts. Previously intimidated by his authoritative demeanour, she sees him in a new light—as a source of comfort and protection. His caring actions and reassuring presence during her vulnerability foster a deeper sense of trust and affection towards him. 

She no longer solely perceives him as imposing and distant but recognises his capacity for warmth and compassion. This experience strengthens their bond and allows her to view her father as a source of security and support, shaping a more positive and nuanced understanding of their relationship.

Q8: How does the little girl express her newfound appreciation for her father, and what observation does she make about his character and responsibilities?

A8: The little girl expresses her newfound appreciation for her father by acknowledging his actions and character. She remarks on the enormity of his heart, symbolically recognising his capacity for love and care. Additionally, she observes his daily responsibilities and their toll on him, realising the sacrifices he makes for the family. 

Despite his strictness, she acknowledges his efforts to provide and protect, understanding the weight of his role as a father. Through these observations, she demonstrates a deeper understanding and gratitude for her father’s presence and contributions to their family, fostering a more mature and empathetic perspective on their relationship.

YouTube: The Little Girl Explanation:


You may also like these

error: Content is protected !!