The Garden Party Essay

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In the following essay, Walker examines the characterization and the conflict between characters in "The Garden Party" and concludes that the story's conclusion is vague and uncertain.

The most frequently anthologized of Katherine Mansfield's works, "The Garden Party" has long enjoyed a reputation for near-perfection in the art of the short story. Its characters are deftly drawn with quick Chekhovian strokes; its action moves along at a vigorous pace; its central situation, richly textured, suggests both antecedence and aftermath; its dialogue, especially the internal debate, is psychologically apt and convincing. And yet, for all its undeniable strength and beauty, "The Garden Party," often leaves readers with a feeling of dissatisfaction, a vague sense that the story somehow does not realize its potential. The difficulty, I think, is a structural one: the conflict has a dual nature, only part of which is resolved effectively.

"The Garden Party" is a...

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This section contains 2,017 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Garden Party Study Guide
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The Garden Party from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.