Taking the Veil (by Katherine Mansfield) Essay

It seemed impossible that anyone should be unhappy on such a beautiful forenoon. Cipher was. distinct Edna. except herself. The Windowss were flung broad in the houses. From within there came the sound of pianos. small custodies chased after each other and ran off fluttered in the sunny gardens. all bright with spring flowers. Street boys whistled. a small Canis familiaris barked ; people passed by. walking so lightly. so fleetly. they looked as though they wanted to interrupt into a tally. Now she really saw in the distance a sunshade of the twelvemonth. Possibly even Edna did non look rather every bit unhappy as she felt. It is non easy to look tragic at 18. when you are highly pretty. with the cheeks and lips and clambering eyes of perfect wellness. Above all. when you are have oning a Gallic blue frock and your new spring chapeau trimmed with strawflowers. True. she carried under her arm a book edge in horrid black leather. Possibly the book provided a glooming note. but merely by accident ; it was the ordinary Library binding.

For Edna had made traveling to the Library an alibi for acquiring out of the house to believe. to recognize what had happened. to make up one’s mind someway what was to be done now. An atrocious thing happened. Quite all of a sudden. at the theater last dark. when she and Jimmy were seated side by side in the dress-circle. without a moment’s warning – in fact. she had merely finished a cocoa Prunus dulcis and passed the box to him once more – she had fallen in love with an histrion. But – fallen – in – love…… . The feeling was unlike anything she had of all time imagined before. It wasn’t in the least pleasant. It was barely thrilling. Unless you can name the most awful esthesis of hopeless wretchedness. desperation. torment and misery. thrilling. Combined with the certainty that if that histrion met her on the paving after. while Jimmy was bringing their cab. she would follow him to the terminals of the Earth. at a nod. at a mark. without giving another idea to Jimmy or her male parent and female parent or her happy place and infinite friends again… . . The drama had begun reasonably cheerfully. That was at the cocoa Prunus dulcis phase. Then the hero had gone blind. Awful minute!

Edna had cried so much she had to borrow Jimmy’s folded. smooth-feeling hankie every bit good. Not that shouting mattered. Whole rows were in cryings. Even the work forces blew their olfactory organs with a loud trumpeting noise and tried to peer at the programme alternatively of looking at the phase. Jimmy. most mercifully tearless – for what would she hold done without his hankie? – squeezed her free manus. and whispered “Cheer up. darling miss! ” And it was so she had taken a last cocoa Prunus dulcis to delight him and passed the box once more. Then there had been that ghastly scene with the hero entirely on the phase in a abandoned room at dusk. with a set playing outside and the sound of heartening coming from the street. He had tried – ah! How distressingly. how pitifully! – to fumble his manner to the window. Hw had succeeded at last. There he stood keeping the drape while one beam of visible radiation. merely one beam. shone full on his raised sightless face. and the set faded off into the distance…… It was – truly. it was perfectly – oh. the most – it was merely – in fact. from that minute Edna knew that life could ne’er be the same. She drew her manus off from Jimmy’s. leaned back. and shut the cocoa box for of all time. T

his at last was love! Edna and Jimmy were engaged. She had had her hair up for a twelvemonth and a half. they had been publically engaged for a twelvemonth. But. they had known they were traveling to get married each other of all time since they walked in the Botanical Gardens with their nurses. and sat on the grass with a vino biscuit and a piece of barley-sugar each for their tea. It was so much an recognized thing that Edna had worn a wondrous good imitation of an engagement-ring out of a cracker all the clip she was at school. And up till now they had been devoted to each other. But now it was over. It was so wholly over that Edna found hard to believe that Jimmy did non recognize it excessively. She smiled sagely. unhappily. as she turned into the gardens of the Convent of the Sacred Heart and mounted the way that led through them to Hill Street. How much better to cognize it now than to wait until after they were married! Now it was possible that Jimmy would acquire over it.

No. it was no usage lead oning herself ; he would ne’er acquire over it! His life was wrecked. was ruined ; that was inevitable. But he was young…… . . Time. people ever said. Time might do a small. merely a small difference. In 40 old ages when he was an old adult male. he might be able to believe of her calmly – possibly. But she. – what did the hereafter clasp for her? Edna had reached the top of the way. There under a new-leafed tree. hung with small Bunches of white flowers. she sat down on a green bench and looked over the Convent flower beds. In the one nearest to her grew stamp stocks. with a boundary line of bluish. shell-like Viola tricolor hortensiss. with at one corner a bunch of creamy freesias. their light lances of green criss-crossed over the flowers. The Convent pigeons were toppling high in the air. and she could hear the voice of Sister Agnes who was giving a vocalizing lesson. Ah-me. sounded the deep tones of the nun. and Ah-me. they were echoed … . . If she did non get married Jimmy. of class she would get married cipher. The adult male she was in love with. the celebrated histrion – Edna had far excessively much common-sense non to recognize that would ne’er be.

It was really uneven. She didn’t even want it to be. Her love was excessively intense for that. It had to be endured. mutely ; it had to torture her. It was. she supposed. merely that sort of love. “ But. Edna! ” cried Jimmy. “ Can you ne’er alter? Can I ne’er hope once more? ” Oh. what sorrow to hold to state it. but it must be said. “ No. Jimmy. I will ne’er alter. ” Edna bowed her caput ; and a small flower fell on her lap. and the voice of Sister Agnes cried all of a sudden Ah-no. and the reverberation came. Ah-no… . . At that minute the hereafter was revealed. Edna saw it all. She was astonished ; it took her breath off at first. But. after all. what could be more natural? She would travel into a convent… .

Her male parent and female parent do everything to deter her. in vain. As for Jimmy. his province of head barely bears believing approximately. Why can’t they understand? How can they add to her enduring like this? The universe is barbarous. awfully cruel! After a last scene when she gives off her jewelry and so on to her best friends – she so unagitated. they so broken-hearted – into a convent she goes. No. one minute. The really eventide of her traveling is the actor’s last eventide at Port Willin. He receives by a unusual courier a box. It is full of white flowers. But there is no name. no card. Nothing? Yes. under the roses. wrapped in a white hankie. Edna’s last exposure with. written underneath.

The universe forgetting. by the universe forgot.

Edna sat really still under the trees ; she clasped the black book in her fingers as though it were her missal. She takes the name of Sister Angela. Snip! Snip! All her lovely hair is cut off. Will she be allowed to direct one coil to Jimmy? It is contrived someway. And in a bluish gown with a white headband Sister Angela goes from the convent to the chapel. from the chapel to the convent with something unearthly in her expression. in her sorrowful eyes. and in the soft smiling with which they greet the small kids who run to her. A saint! She hears it whispered as she paces the iciness. wax-smelling corridors. A saint! And visitants to the chapel are told of the nun whose voice is heard above the other voices. of her young person. her beauty. of her tragic. tragic love. “ There is a adult male in this town whose life is ruined…”

A large bee. a aureate furry chap. crawl into freesia. and the delicate flower leaned over. swung. shook ; and so the bee flew off it fluttered still as though it were express joying. Happy. careless flower! Sister Angela looked at it and said. “ Now it is winter. ” One dark. lying in her icy cell. she hears a call. Some isolated animate being is out at that place in the garden. a kitty or a lamb or –well. whatever small carnal might be at that place. Up rises the sleepless nun. All in white. shuddering but fearless. she goes and brings it in. But following forenoon. when the bell rings for morning prayers. she is found fliping in her fever… . in delirium…… and she ne’er recovers. In three yearss all is over. The service has been said in the chapel. and she is buried in the corner of the graveyard reserved for the nuns. where there are apparent small crosses of wood. Rest in Peace. Sister Angela… . .

Now it is flushing. Two old people tilting on each other come easy to the grave and kneel down sobbing. “ Our girl! Our lone girl! ” Now at that place comes another. He is all in black ; he comes easy. But when he is at that place and raise his black chapeau. Edna sees to her horror his hair is snowy. Jimmy! Too late. excessively late! The cryings are running down his face ; he is shouting now. Too late. excessively late! The air current shakes the leafless trees in the God’s acre. He gives one awful bitter call. Edna’s black book fell with a thump to garden way. She jumped up. her bosom whipping. My favorite! No. it’s non excessively late. It’s all been a error. a awful dream. Oh. that white hair! How could she hold done it? She has non done it.

Oh. celestial spheres! Oh. what felicity! She is free. immature. and cipher knows her secret. Everything is still possible for her and Jimmy. The house they have planned may still be built. the small grave male child with custodies behind his dorsum watching them works the standard roses may still be born. His babe sister… . . But when Edna got every bit far as his baby-sister. she stretched out her weaponries as though the small love came winging through the air to her. and staring at the garden. at the white sprays on the tree. at those darling pigeons blue against blue. and the Convent with its narrow Windowss. she realized that now at last for the first clip in her life – she had ne’er imagined any feeling like it before – she knew what it was to be in love. but – in – love!