The Garden Party: And Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

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How would you characterize the character of Laura from Katherine Mansfield's "The Garden Party"?

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Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Laura Sheridan is difficult in two ways: As a character in the story, she makes the day of the garden party more difficult for her mother, and as a literary figure, she is difficult for readers to interpret and perhaps difficult to like. As the story opens, Laura is being very helpful and cooperative with the preparations for the party, helping to direct the workmen who are putting up the marquee and assisting with labeling the sandwiches. She displays great affection for her brother and mother. But when she learns of the accident that has killed a neighbor whom they didn't know, she immediately expects her family to "stop everything." Her sister Jose becomes "seriously annoyed" with her, and her mother loses patience with her as well, telling her she is "being very absurd" and that she is spoiling "everybody's enjoyment." After the party, Mrs. Sheridan agrees to extend kindness to the wife of the dead man by sending "that poor creature some of this perfectly good food." When Laura...

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renelane eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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