Characterism In Katherine Mansfield's The Garden Party

1156 Words 5 Pages
Name: The Garden Party

Text Type: Short story

Author: Katherine Mansfield

The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield is a coming of age story, exploring a moment of realisation and the issue of societal classes.

The opening description of the Sheridan residence is like a dream. Everything is delightful, extravagant, a perfect family organising a magnificent garden party. It suggests a wealthy and happy family, highlighted by imagery, ‘haze of light gold.’ Nothing is wrong, but it seems superficial and shallow. ‘As for the roses... Hundreds, yes literally hundreds, had come out on a single night.’ There is a limitless amount of expensive flowers, a band and dainty sandwiches. This oh-so-happy mood is a very sharp contrast to the ending moments.
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She attempts to be calm and she decides to act like her mother in an attempt to be confident and adult-like. She however struggles with this attempt and feels foolish with what she does. This incident makes me think about growing up and trying to behave like an adult. She still has a childish nature, but would like to be like her mother and older sisters. ‘"Good morning," she said, copying her mother 's voice. But that sounded so fearfully affected that she was ashamed, and stammered like a little girl, "Oh - er - have you come - is it about the marquee?"’ This highlights her inner battle of being between a girl and a woman, unsure of how it is acceptable for her to behave. This is somehow charming and brings the reader closer to Laura, at least I felt like I could relate to her. The fact that she can not finish sentences is another indicative of her immaturity and her lack of confidence in …show more content…
' We mainly see this through Laura, as she admires her mother and siblings enormously, but mimicking them is not easy for her. As she is more 'artistic ' and sensitive than the rest of her family she is able to relate to the workmen and, later on, the Scotts ' family. These events reflect a larger class conflict- the conflict between the life of luxury and life of hardship of the people down the road. The difference in class and the inability of one class to understand the other is exposed. This leads to an inner conflict for Laura, as she learns about life and death. Her entire background conflicts with the poverty and experience of

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