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A Review of “the Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield

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A Review of “the Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield

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  • October 2008
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Through her short story "The Garden Party," Katherine Mansfield portrays The Sheridan family as the classic stereotype of shallow and pretentious rich people, who thinks of themselves as better than common people. There is, however, one member of the family, Laura, who is quite unlike the others. Out of all her family she is the only one who seems to have a little bit of common sense; she presents herself as a more human character, and shows the reader that despite the selfishness and superficiality that reigns in her home, she still cares about other peoples feelings.

Laura Sheridan was raised inside a bubble, which had been protecting her from the real world, she had never experienced the effects of poverty, hunger, labor, or even death, which she does have exposure, by the end of the story. It is a wonder she ever had a chance to be a caring, sensitive person with a mother like Mrs. Sheridan and a sibling like Jose. Jose and her mother are heartless and self-absorbed people who were completely unaware of the situations of those around them who do not have lots of money or expensive assets. They were surrounded by their own world of parties, social events, fashionable hats, and gourmet food.

When the Godber’s man told to the cook and her siblings that a man had been killed, Laura was the only one who reacted with horror; it seems that she was the only person in the room that felt really sorry for his death. She puts herself in the position of the widow and her little children, and felt awful for having a party during that moment of pain. Nobody else cared about the suffering of that poor woman, who had recently lost her husband, except Laura. What was her mother thinking? Giving a party when a man layed down dead just a few blocks from her house. What a lack of humanity, vanity and selfishness her mother was showing!

Only because that family was less accommodated than the Sheridans, that doesn’t mean that they were not...