Explain how the following quote relates to Laura's character in"The Garden Party:"  “And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers is always the first to be touched by the thorns.” Thomas...

Explain how the following quote relates to Laura's character in"The Garden Party:"  “And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers is always the first to be touched by the thorns.”

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Moore's quote can connect to Laura on several levels.  Consider that Laura represents "the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers."  Laura is one of the few members of the Sheridan home that understands and grasps the stratification of class that divides people.  Jose and Mrs. Sheridan are not fully "awake" in that they are completely supportive of the class divisions that would deride the worker who died as a "drunk" or dismiss him as someone who did not matter.  Laura is "awake" in that she recognizes the reality of class divisions and, at least for an instant, wishes to change such a reality.  While she is "awake," Laura also understands what is means to be "touched by the thorns."  Laura recognizes the brutality of the class system and in leaving her home to see how the laborers live, she recognizes fully the stratification there is in life.  Laura's awakening to the "flower" of being is quickly accompanied by its "thorns" of divisions and apathy towards other people.  It is unclear at the end of the narrative if she has become committed to removing these "thorns" or simply living with them.

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