A Gold Slipper

A Gold Slipper

"A Gold Slipper" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in "Harper's" in January 1917 [Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction, University of Nebraska Press; Rev Ed edition, 1 Nov 1970, page 591] .

Plot summary

Mr McKann is badgered by his wife into going to the opera with her and her visiting friend Mrs Post. Although he thought there were no tickets left, Mrs Post has managed to get special seats on the stage. He is dressed inappropriately for a night out.

He gets bored throughout the concert, and the singer Kitty Ayrshire notices his yawns and glares. Later he is on his way to New York City and accepts to drive the singer to the station, as her car has stopped working. She only finds out it is him when they get to the station, as she couldn't see his face properly before that. Once on the train, she decides to join him and to ask him why he didn't like her performance. He says he is a serious businessman and he despises artists. She later tells her maid Celine she doesn't think he is too smart.

The next day he realises she has dropped one of her golden slippers, and decides to tuck it into his suitcase. At his hotel he bins it, but the cleaning-lady puts it back in his closet, thinking it must have been a mistake. He decides to keep it, and stashes it in a box for no one else to see.

Years later, he has become 'morbid', or depressed. Kitty, on the contrary, has forgotten all about it.


*Marshall McKann. He is a Presbyterian and supports the Republican Party. He works as a coal businessman.
*Mrs McKann, Marshall's wife.
*Mrs Post, a friend of Mrs McKann's. She went to school with her. She now lives in Cincinnati.
*Kitty Ayrshire, an opera singer. She is Californian.
*Céline, Kitty's maid.

Allusions to other works

*Music is mentioned through the Ballets Russes, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Frideric Handel, Ludwig van Beethoven, and "Faust".
*Kitty asks Mr McKann what he thinks of Leo Tolstoy's 1897 "What Is Art?".
*Kitty later calls herself the Queen of Sheba, in that she is never afraid to learn more.

Literary criticism and significance

It has been suggested that Mr McKann might be 'a drag queen at heart' [Wayne Koestenbaum, "The Queen's Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire", Gay Men's Press, 1994, page 43] .


External links

* [http://www.online-literature.com/willa-cather/2117/ Full text]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • James Slipper — Infobox Rugbyman James Slipper Pas d image ? Cliquez ici. Fiche d identité Nom complet …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Silver Slipper Stakes — The Silver Slipper Stakes is a Group 2 Australian thoroughbred horse race for horses aged 2 years old, over a distance of 1100m.It is held annually at Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney. The race is regarded as a traditional lead up for the STC Golden …   Wikipedia

  • Death Comes for the Archbishop —   …   Wikipedia

  • My Ántonia — This article is about the novel by Willa Cather. For the 1995 film adaptation, see My Antonia (film). My Ántonia   …   Wikipedia

  • Princess Jasmine — DisneyChar name = الأميرة ياسمين Princess Jasmine image caption = first appearance = Aladdin (1992) Brithdate= October 28, 1976 age = 16 years old created by =Ron Clements John Musker voiced by =Linda Larkin (speaking) Lea Salonga (singing in… …   Wikipedia

  • O Pioneers! — This article is about the book written by Willa Cather. For the 1992 movie, see O Pioneers! (film). For the 2009 opera, see O Pioneers! (opera). For the Walt Whitman poem, see Pioneers! O Pioneers!. O! Pioneers   …   Wikipedia

  • One of Ours —   First edition …   Wikipedia

  • Double Birthday — is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in The Forum in February 1929[1]. Contents 1 Plot introduction 1.1 Explanation of the title 2 Plot summary …   Wikipedia

  • Coming, Eden Bower! — is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in Smart Set in August 1920[1], and it was republished in Youth and the Bright Medusa under the title of Coming, Aphrodite, with minor alterations[1]. Contents 1 …   Wikipedia

  • On the Gulls' Road — is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure s in December 1908[1]. Contents 1 Plot summary 2 Characters 3 Allusions to other works …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.