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It seems to me an excellent parallel to the "real world" might be to compare Laura's awakening to some truths around her to those we all experience. Laura realizes her family is rather callous about death when it concerns those of a different social class, and we have all experienced that moment when some authority figure in our lives has disappointed or surprised us in their callousness or insensitivity to others. Laura discovers that the poor people are distrustful of her gifts and presence, and we have all had moments when our pure intentions and motives were called into question. This is a story for all time, in this regard.
I think that a part of your response can connect to how Mansfield's work is representative of the World War I setting of Europe. The story is written at a time when there is a definite change in the world. Revolutions in Russia, the failure of the war to establish anything except horror and sadness, along with the collision of value systems that prompted the individual to struggle for meaning are all the elements of the story as well as the condition facing Europe in the wake of World War I. I think that exploring the themes of innocence and experience, for example, could be connected to both the work and the historical context that envelops it. At the same time, the need for critical choices to be made that go far in determining one's identity is another theme that can be linked to the short story and its real world setting.
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