Characterism In Katherine Mansfield's 'The Garden Party'

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The Growth of a Laurel There is more to Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party” than meets the eye-it is not merely an account of a fête with fine china, sequined gowns and idle chatter. Contradictory to its lighthearted title, “The Garden Party” alludes to weighty themes such as social prejudice, isolation and change. The story centers around Laura Sheridan’s coming-of-age as she breaks away from societal norms of her bourgeois background. Her transition is at odds with her upper-status family, who chooses be blind to class distinctions. With Mr.Scott’s death, Laura’s realization amplifies into what propels her maturity and moral decency. In “The Garden Party,” Mansfield best conveys Laura’s sympathetic character through comparisons against her family, her interaction with the working men, and her response to Mr.Scott’s death. The story starts off by introducing the extravagant nature of the Sheridan family and Mansfields emphasizes on this in order to draw attention to Laura’s differences and distinct insights. Mansfield begins by describing the weather-“a perfect day….the sky without a cloud…with a haze of light gold” (Mansfields, 1). She continues on to fashion the Sheridans’ garden into an illusion of paradise with its “daisy plants that seem to shine…green…show more content…
The story ends on an ambiguous note when Laura fails to put her new-found knowledge into words. One can’t help but wonder if this experience will stay permanent or if it will be buried under societal prejudice later. Perhaps, this ambiguity is intended all along. From the start of the story, Laura is referred to as a flower, innocent and vulnerable. Whether if she will succumb and wither away or grow into a laurel is left to the
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