The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield

The Garden Party

The Garden Party is a short story written by Katherine Mansfield. The story portrays the life of a young girl named Laura. The primary theme of the story revolves around maturity of the young girl from her illusionary world.

Laura is a rich girl from the Sheridans family. She is the narrator of the story. She understands the illusion behind her opulent lifestyle and what the real world is about. Her understanding about the reality of life is death is the central theme of the story. Her maturation from luxurious upper class lifestyle to realization is attributed to the happenings on the day of the garden party.

The story starts with the ‘garden party’ preparations in the Sheridan’s family. They have invited exclusive upper class guests. The entire party surrounding is sumptuous with grandeur elements. Through the party, they try to exhibit their social class status. The story turns vague when the Laura hears about the demise of their neighbor, Scott, who belongs to a lower class. With grief, Laura suggests her parents to call off the garden party. But her consideration is ignored by her family. They mention that a death of lower class people should not affect their lives. Moreover, they insist on not spoiling the happiness of their guests.

As a result, the party continues happenings as they have planned. Soon after the party, there are some leftovers in the house. Laura is asked to give it to their grief-stricken neighbor. On her way to Scott’s house, Laura realizes how the poor family is affected by the death. She also finds herself enamored by the corpse. The incident strikes her to the realization of death. She understands that the life she lives is not at all a life.

The author presents the story narration in a clear use of language and tone. She also uses the characters in a meaningful way to interpret her theme. The success of the author lies in the way the narration makes the readers delve into the inner struggles of Laura. The words used by the author clearly interpret the narrator’s progress towards maturation and realization of death.

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