The Garden Party Essay

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In the following excerpt, Hanson and Gurr explore issues of class conflict in "The Garden Party."

Into her narrative, Katherine Mansfield weaves a series of contrasts and parallels which unobtrusively carry forward her theme at the same time as they unify the different elements of the story. "The Garden Party" is a great story and a complex one because in it . . . we are presented simultaneously with several distinct yet interlocking levels of meaning. There is the social meaning provided by the real-life framework; the emotional and psychological overtones of the events in which Laura plays a central part; and the broader, philosophical signifi- cance of the total experience Katherine Mansfield lays before us.

The fact that the rich can avoid (or attempt to avoid) the unpleasant realities of human existence, even summon up beauty and elegance at will, is conveyed in the very first paragraph of the story...

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This section contains 1,913 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
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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.