Whilst women’s suffrage was demanding political equality’ (Seal,

Whilst human experience is seen in the way of
diminishing characters in ‘Two Gallants’, Mansfield adopts a theme of escapism
making Rosabel, from ‘The Tiredness of Rosabel’, wants to escape her society of
dull monotonous routine as a shop girl and dissatisfaction in her life. One way
in which Rosabel feels ‘wretched’ is the symbolic use of the ‘window’ to
represent her in a dreamlike state and imagining the prospects of her leaving
with Harry instead of the young girls who purchased the hat. This is
significant as it makes the reader realise how isolated Rosabel is, to the
extent where she is fantasising about married life. She romanticises the idea. Does
Rosabel know what married life meant if we compare it to other short stories
such as ‘Eveline’ and ‘Marriage a la mode’ which highlights the ever-changing
dynamics of gender roles in the home which switches from the man to the women. The
naivety of Rosabel could ultimately lead to her downfall as most marriages at
the time were unfulfilling and tough. ‘Domestic violence exists in many
but not all cultures throughout
the world’ (Heise, 1995) and
continues to argue that it was completely within reason for a man to
domestically abuse his partner. A critical source said ‘Mansfield
wrote at a time when women, and some men, were questioning traditional gender
roles. The movement for women’s suffrage was demanding political equality’ (Seal, 2013). The young woman who
buys the hat in the store is of a higher class in nature compared to Rosabel,
more notably is that the young woman drives a car. In the time of publishing
(1908) women who drove cars must have been extremely wealthy and free from
social constraints, compared with the lower working class of Rosabel. Both
texts explore the nature of diminishing characters however in ‘The Tiredness of
Rosabel’ we explore this notion through isolationism rather than poverty and



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