The Garden Party: And Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

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Compare how "The Garden Party" and "The Monkey Garden" explore the loss of innocence.

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Both Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party” and Sandra Cisneros’ “The Monkey Garden” depict characters who experience a harsh loss of innocence—one regarding class differences, and one regarding sex. Both young narrators view life with a child-like perspective and experience a sudden fall from innocence into harsh reality.

Laura, from “The Garden Party,” has been raised in a privileged household and has never wanted for anything. She is different than most of the people around her. She genuinely cares about everyone, while the others simply care about their own comfort. So, when Laura hears of a poor man’s untimely death and the family he leaves behind, she is empathetic and wants to be respectful. She is shocked that her family wishes to continue with their planned party as if the man had never existed and his death is inconsequential. Laura tries to make things right by bringing food to the widow, but although she is welcomed into the grieving household, she feels...

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