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Katherine Mansfield - The Garden Party The main theme of the text is the rich familys view on the people from the lower class, and their behavior towards them.

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Introduction

Giulia Tonoletti 4.18.2012 Katherine Mansfield - The Garden Party The main theme of the text is the rich family's view on the people from the lower class, and their behavior towards them. Laura, and her family is arranging a garden-party for all their upper class friends, they are a rich family with a nice house, big garden and several servants. Laura is walking outside enjoying her bred-and-butter while helping the workmen to find a good place for the marquee. Laura is not aware of her position as an upper class girl; she is very open minded, and finds the workmen charming. On page 295, paragraph 21 she is wondering: "Why couldn't she have workmen for her friends rather than the silly boys she danced with and who came to Sunday night supper?" It's very obvious that she is tired of all these arranged meetings she is having with ordinary boring boys. She don't want to be a part of this setup, so a little later on page 295, paragraph 22 we see how: "Laura took a big bite of her bread-and-butter as she stared at the little drawing. ...read more.

Middle

We see this on page 299 where Laura says in paragraph 95: "But we can't possible have a garden-party with a man dead just outside the front gate." Once again she proves her non-class-distinguishing mind; being very upset because of the death of a lower class man. This event is to her mother and her sister insignificant; they have a patronizing relationship to the lower-class and really don't care about them, unless the accident were about to spoil the garden party. We see this on page 299, paragraph 103-106: "Mother, an man's been killed," began Laura "Not in the garden?" interrupted her mother. "No, no!" "Oh, what a fright you gave me!" It's unbelievable how the mother is more concerned about the party than the man's death. This whole situation is incomprehensible to Laura, but apparently she is the only one with this opinion. She also went to her brother for his advice, but on page 300, paragraph 121,122 we realize she's maybe the most hypocrite of the family since we see how she suddenly forgets everything about the accident in favor of her own beauty: My word, Laura! You do look stunning," said Laurie. "What an absolutely topping hat!" ...read more.

Conclusion

In this instance, her childish thoughts are gone. She is now aware of the gap between the poor and the rich, and the consequences of the life we live. Laurie has come to check up on Laura and she embraces him, crying. But she is not crying tears of fear, but in awe, feeling things that she is unable to express. On page 303, paragraph 178, 179 Laura is trying to explain Laurie how she feels: "No," sobbed Laura. "It was simply marvellous. But Laurie" She stopped, she looked at her brother. "Isn't life," she stammered, "isn't life" But what life was she couldn't explain. No matter. He quite understood. "Isn't it, darling?" said Laurie. But what is life, Beautiful? And is Laurie thinking the same thing? What we know is: Laura is not the same person anymore; she is in contrast to everybody in her family in her way of thinking, maybe except for her father. She has evolved her personality from being a little girl, not knowing anything about the class gaps and the things in life which matters, to a girl able to spot the differences in life to which what matters, and what don't. A progress that no one else in the story has been able to. ...read more.

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