A Dill Pickle

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"A Dill Pickle"
Author Katherine Mansfield
Published in The New Age
Publication date 4 October 1917

A Dill Pickle is a 1917 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in the New Age on 4 October 1917.[1] A revised version later appeared in Bliss and Other Stories.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

After a six-year hiatus, a man and a woman who used to be lovers or close friends meet in a café. They reminisce about days gone by - the day they spent at the Kew Gardens together; he tells her about Russia and how class-free the society is; about how he liked to talk to her. Despite being poor and she being better-off (as when she would eat caviare), both of them regret not being friends any more. At the café, the man indirectly insults her for still being alone. The man tells her about his wonderful journeys and that he has accomplished the things they had said they would have done when they were together. She seems to have lost her earlier high status. Now the man seems to possess wealth however his manners still reflect his low status. He also claims or seems to perceive their love differently, for he thought that he loved her more, however the woman taking notice of him from the manner in which he did something shows the reader that she did love him. The man continues talking this time about how he studied the mind while he was in Russia and is unable to complete his sentence because he takes notice to his companion walking out on him. When it's time to pay he asks the waiter not to charge him for the cream since it was untouched.

Characters in A Dill Pickle[edit]

  • Vera, a woman.
  • A man, who remained unnamed.

Major themes[edit]

  • lost love
  • sharing
  • class consciousness

References to other works[edit]

Literary significance[edit]

The text is written in the modernist mode, without a set structure, and with many shifts in the narrative.


  1. ^ The New Age. Volume 21, Number 23. Retrieved on August 13, 2014.
  2. ^ Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics, explanatory notes

External links[edit]