Essay on Katherine Mansfield 's A Garden Party

1297 Words 6 Pages
Katherine Mansfield’s “A Garden Party” is a story portraying the distinctions between the lower and upper classes of society, and how the lower class is viewed by the higher society. A wealthy family, the Sheridans, is hosting a lovely garden party for many respected guests. There is to be a band, much fun and wonderful food throughout the day. Before the party starts, Laura, the youngest Sheridan, learns of a terrible death which occurred to a poor family just down the lane. Laura immediately insists on a change of plans for their party much to her family’s shock and displeasure. Laura Sheridan is naïve concerning the distinctions between the two classes of society putting her at odds with the standards of her family, and although she eventually conforms, the end of the story leaves her suddenly facing the blatant, cold reality of their ignorance.
Laura is naïve as to the distinctions between upper class and lower class life, proven by her dealings with the workmen, and how she wants to cancel the garden party on account of the accident. Having grown up in a wealthy family, she realizes the standards which they hold to, but fails to understand the reason for such separation. Laura’s initial non-conformity to society is displayed when she takes the advice of the workmen who arrived to set up the marquee and allows them to choose the wisest spot to place it, although they are of the lower class, and she is of high society. Admiring how nice some of the workmen seem…

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