This thesis investigates the critical dismissal of the child figure in Katherine Mansfield’s authorship, and demonstrates alternative ways of conducting literary analyses of four of her childhood stories: “Prelude,” “Sun and Moon,” “How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped” and “The Woman at the Store.” An evaluation of the reception history of Mansfield’s short stories reveals a process of infantilisation of not only her literary productions but also of her persona, and this reflects the marginalisation of the child figure in literary studies overall. The child exhibits a peculiar duality: on the one hand, it instigates empathic responses deriving from Romantic discourses, and on the other hand, it calls for Formalist and structural approaches based on modern notions of a hermeneutics of suspicion – in the end, it seems to struggle to navigate within this conflicting critical climate. Mansfield’s authorship, however, exemplifies literature’s unique ability to reconstruct the child’s world in ways which communicate not only an imaginative interpretation of childhood consciousness, but also the child’s ability to problematize normative belief systems, ideological constructs and social reality when used as a textual device. Combining structural concepts from narratology and strategies for close reading with social and historical criticism, this thesis showcases the complexity of the child characters in these four stories when employed as narrative devices. The aim of this study is thus two-fold: to raise the status of Mansfield’s experimental writings about childhood and to raise the child figure’s status in literary criticism overall.