In "The Garden Party," why did Laura want to stop it when she heard about the accident?

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lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Laura, from her youthful innocent perspective, feels that it would be inappropriate to have a party in light of the fact that a young man who live just down the hill from their home has died.  She is acutely aware that there is a devastated family in mourning a couple of blocks away, and their party seems frivolous.  Her family step in to explain that the world they live in (the upper class at the top of the hill) and the world of the poor at the bottom of the hill are two completely separate worlds and the actions of one have no bearing on the other.  Laura doesn't completely let it go, but is brought back into the light, bright world of her party at the mention of her new fancy hate.  After the party, she feels the connection of the two worlds again, and she bridges the gap of the two worlds when she travels to the dead man's house to deliver a care package -- ironically made up of leftovers from the fancy party.  Once there, she is confronted by the reality of death and realizes that there is something very tranquil and peaceful in death and she leaves no longer innocent of this truth of the human experience.

Read the study guide:
The Garden Party: And Other Stories

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