Style of language

The language in the short story “Sixpence” by Katherine Mansfield is neutral, for both the narrative and for the dialogue. Throughout the text there are contracted words but no slang, and the story has an overall conversational tone.

In addition, the narration uses words from the beginning of the 20th century, indicating the time when the story takes place. Some examples include the words what-not and little chap. There are also many words referring to the act of sewing which, at that time, was considered to be an activity that only women did. Some examples include “stroked the gathers”, thimble, “threading her needle”.

There are many descriptive words that focus on the characters’ personalities. For example, in the first paragraph Dicky is des...

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