Analysis Of Katherine Mansfield 's ' The Garden Party ' Essay

855 Words Oct 26th, 2016 4 Pages
The impermanence of human life cannot be repudiated. If we continuously take notice of death, we would be in everlasting state of despair. In order to continue existing prolifically, one has to ignore certain truths of life. In Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party”, the contrast of life and death is observed in an interesting manner. The story starts with the main protagonist Laura, a naïve member of the elite Sheridan family, who is busy preparing for a garden party that is going to be taking place later that evening. Laura’s interactions with the working class, who are constantly present throughout the story, highlights the difference in lifestyles. Laura is unbothered in the matters of life and death, she is living her life of privilege without any understanding of how life can be bittersweet. She receives word of a neighbor dying. The death coinciding with the party initiates Laura into the harsh realities of life. Eventually she decides to see the widow of the man, subsequently she sees the corpse of the dead neighbor. This journey from the bright and colorful garden party to the dark and grey home of the dead man’s widow shows the contrast of life and death. From the inception of the story the class distinction is highlighted. Four working class men arrive at the Sheridan estate to construct a marquee. Laura being from a higher social background immediately emphasizes the differences between her and the men, “you want to put it somewhere where it’ll give you a bang…

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