The Canary (short story)

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"The Canary" is a 1923 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in The Nation and Atheneum on 21 April 1923, and later appeared in The Dove's Nest and Other Stories.[1]

Plot introduction[edit]

A lonely woman tells of her dead canary, how he was the only thing she loved, 'perfect company'.

Characters in "The Canary"[edit]

  • a lonely woman
  • a dead canary
  • a Chinaman who sold her the canary
  • three younger men whom she cooks dinner for

Major themes[edit]

  • loneliness, intermingled with the theme of the housewife perhaps, the idea of loneliness and sadness is the dominant in the story so most of people used to have a pet animals or birds to take part of their life. In literature we consider that birds are heartless so it represents the idea of weakness, sympathy,and passions. The older woman loved her Canary and considered him as a real friend who helped her in her loneliness and sadness.


  1. ^ Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics, explanatory notes

External links[edit]