Differences In Mansfield's The Garden Party By Katherine Mansfield

1475 Words 6 Pages
The short story form is defined as a work of prose that is shorter in length than a novel, but just as developed . It should be read in one sitting , and must therefore capture the reader throughout. Mansfield uses this form because it allows the reader to draw their own conclusions based on the world shown to them, not the world they exist in. Joyce does the same in his form, though his stories are on average longer than Mansfield’s, leading to the lack of concise & informative style Mansfield writes in. Despite writing in the same time period Joyce and Mansfield write about very different topics, from different perspectives. This may be due to a number of influences in their lives, from social upbringing to gender, their differences allow …show more content…
Katherine Mansfield was brought up in a fairly well off family in New Zealand and later in life escaped to study in England . Her writing often focuses on the idea of social class, more specifically upper-middle class situations or families. Mansfield often exaggerates the differences between the classes in order to show the ridiculousness of the system; within her story ‘The Garden Party’ the differences between the Edenic garden of the Sheridan’s and the dark hell-like oppression of the village illustrate this difference. In the garden party Mansfield is examining the border between the upper and lower classes through a young girl’s point of view. This achieves a sense of naïve innocence in the written voice that allows Mansfield to portray her real feelings on the social divide using devices like irony in the song Jose sings. This song talks of being weary of life, when the Sheridan girls have no …show more content…
She focuses on initiation rites, such as a first ball or first responsibility. Mansfield approaches transformation in her individual stories, Joyce looks at the theme in a general way. His collection itself is a progressive story; the voices of his stories get progressively older as he writes them, from a young child to a married, older man. Joyce focuses on revealing the inner feelings of a large range of people, regardless of gender, age and domestic role. All of his characters however fit into one caste in society, much like Mansfield’s characters, which seem on contrast wholly unvaried. Mansfield focuses mainly on female characters, except in marriage a’la mode, and on younger characters. In most of her stories Mansfield is writing about girls in situations where they are faced with something new, where they have to make a decision. Her characters are searching for an identity, and this shows Mansfield’s thoughts on the lives of girls growing up in the late 19th- early 20th century; they have an inability to deal with the challenges of everyday life. She showcases this by placing characters in crisis situations, such as being orphaned, or being informed of the death of one for whom you should feel total apathy. Mansfield looks also at the idea that whilst trying to deal with these situations, attempting to conform to societies norms only

Related Documents