The Garden Party Criticism

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Critical attempts to interpret the story's conclusion have led to many analyses of its overall structure. In his article "Crashing the Garden Party, I: A Dream— A Wakening," Donald S. Taylor perceives the story as a narrative of Laura Sheridan's awakening from the comfortable but shallow existence that she has been living. Taylor thus views the lyrics of Jose's song as a foreshadowing of Laura's eventual awakening. Taylor attributes much of the responsibility for this dream-world to Mrs. Sheridan, who, he writes, "keeps the daughters in the dream by giving her daughters the illusion of maturity" in planning the garden party.

In the critical analyses that examine the story Structurally—as a representation and negotiation of two worlds—Laura Sheridan is given much of the responsibility for her own growth or her own awakening. In this sense, "The Garden Party" is much like a bildungsroman...

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This section contains 501 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Garden Party Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Garden Party from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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