The Garden Party (Brief Summary)

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The Garden Party
"The Garden Party", written by Katherine Mansfield, is the story of an upper-class British family who is throwing a party for friends. It is a warm, summer day while the family makes preparations, by cooking food and setting up a location for the marquee and band. While preparing, the family hears about a tragic accident which occurred in the poor part of the neighbourhood, at the bottom of the hill. A young man was thrown from a horse, and killed, leaving behind his wife and five children. The one daughter, Laura, is upset about the news and wants to cancel the entire party. Her family thinks she is overreacting, and doesn't believe the death should affect them because their house is at the top of the hill and is separated from the lower-class families. Instead Laura's mother suggests that they provide a basket of left-over food to the the family, as a way to show their condolences. Laura fills the basket with food, and begins to carry it down toward the other houses. She felt uncomfortable walking down the road because the atmosphere was dark and quiet, and Laura stood out compared to everyone else. The house she approach had a lot of people gathered outside, and when she knocked, a women opened the door and invited her in. She was taken directly to the body of the young man, which looked as if it was peacefully sleeping. It made her feel happy and sad at the same time; it gave her a new appreciation of life. She quickly left the house, and walked back up to hers, where she met up with her brother. The two of them then walked home.
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