The Garden Party Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Garden Party.
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Katherine Mansfield's short story "The Garden Party" opens with frantic preparations being made for an afternoon garden party. The main character, Laura, is an idealistic and sensitive young girl. She is surrounded by her more conventional family: her sister, Jose, who, as the narrator tells us, "loved giving orders to servants"; her mother, Mrs. Sheridan, a shallow old woman whose world consists of having enough canna lilies; her father, a businessman; and her brother, Laurie, to whom she feels most similar in feeling and ideals. As many critics have remarked, Mansfield's prose depicts an almost dreamlike world.

This atmosphere is compromised for Laura when she hears of the death of one of the laborers who lives in the cottages down the hill from her house. Struck by the inappropriateness of throwing a garden party when a neighbor has been killed, Laura immediately suggests that they cancel the party...

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This section contains 870 words
(approx. 3 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.