Katherine Mansfied’s The Garden Party: Epiphany of Religion

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

This short story is reflecting on a sudden change in a main character’s life by experiencing something new. This sudden change is also known as an epiphany. When Laura a main character, suddenly has an understanding of feeling different in her life, with a sympathy towards a deceased man and his family. According to Godber’s workman mentioning to both sisters Laura and Jose, there has been a man killed. Laura has a change of heart and mind about proceeding with the garden party, as she feels it is an absolute disrespect to celebrate, while the neighbors next door mourns. Although, both her mother Mrs. Sheridan, and sister Jose feel horrible hearing about the incident that occurred, they insist on the partying continuing as they do not show much sympathy nor remorse. What Laura realizes at that moment is God’s presence.

One reason that is a disadvantage in the story to readers, is Katherine Mansfield is telling us in the story that Jose has no consideration for what happened to Scott, and suggesting the party must go on as it is not of their concern to give regard or feel sympathetic towards the poor family. The narrator for example, “And just think of what the band would sound like to that poor woman, said Laura” (92). Yet, Laura is expecting that Jose will show remorse towards the widow woman and her family, as she learns her sister does not feel bad about the tragedy, Jose thinks Laura is being absurd for postponing the party. It appears that Jose is a highly judgmental sister towards the deceased man Scott. The narrator for example, “You Won’t bring a drunken workman back to life by being sentimental” (92). In other words, the speaker is aware of the tragedy that happened and she does feel awfully sorry however, she does not want Laura to cancel the party nor, the Godber’s to stop preparing all equipment’ to be brought in or tent to be taken down. Because, Katherine portrays Jose as an aggressive selfish woman, who lacks her thoughts and feelings towards others. And another reason, Jose is a very bossy character to the workmen, and cook. This is why Laura feels sorry and unhappy proceeding with the party plans; because she no longer want to be a part of it.

But Laura is still bothered about going to the house to pay her respect to Scott’s family even though, the party turns out a success. When Mrs. Sheridan said for example, “Let’s make up a basket. Let’s send that poor creature some of this perfectly good food” (95). She basically believes that by providing a basket full of goodies, is her way of being quite thoughtful however; from my point of view, it is impolite and unthoughtful to give leftover food just because she wants to make herself look decent and allow readers to know she shows her compassion. The narrator for example, “People of that class are so impressed by arum lilies (95).” Katherine’s intention to readers… Mrs. Sheridan is implying how she feels about lower class people. As Laura learns both her mother and sister Jose are not sympathetic women, she must still obey her mother to take the food basket and the lilies. Although, Laura’s hesitant and frightens to go there alone, as she remembered being forbidden to play nor go anywhere near that neighborhood when they were children, and the fact that she never dealt with death in her life makes her quite more nervous.

Agreeing to go to the house in the first place was a mistake, but it is too late to go back home she must continue to walk there in the dark and unfamiliar faces she sees while carrying her basket. Before arriving to the house for example, the narrator “it was as though she was expected, as though they had known she was coming here (96).” It seems that the narrator wants readers to know the widow woman has a sense of someone coming to visit. Soon as Laura enters the house, there was something different, she felt the affection of these women mourning, everyone all wearing black. After Laura sees a dead body lying down so peacefully, she wonders “What did the garden parties and baskets and lace frocks matter to him?” (97) just when she thought her life was perfect, she began to have an instant change of reflection on how harsh life is. Laura’s thoughts of life are just unbearable to understand. That one must treat others with love and respect.

In Christianity, James Joyce article stated: epiphany is celebrated with feast and gatherings “Joyce’s Epiphanies.” Laura is not portrayed as a religious woman, but she is still defined as a noble person who never thinks of herself only. Katherine is grasping readers attention to understand Laura a main character whom has increased the number of experiences she had encountered within the day. In this short story book of “The Garden Party” when Laura finds out there was a man dead while a celebration is being held at her home, at that moment Laura looks at her life different.


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