The Garden Party: And Other Stories Questions and Answers
by Katherine Mansfield

The Garden Party: And Other Stories book cover
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How is epiphany used in "The Garden Party"? Please give some examples.

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Epiphany comes at the end of "The Garden Party." Laura begins the story lacking insight and understanding. She happily greets the workers who have arrived at her home to help her family set up for their event. After this encounter, Laura is blithely convinced that there is no difference between the classes and that they can all get along.

After a worker who lives near their home is killed, Laura wants to cancel the party out of respect, only to be bought off when her mother gives her a pretty new hat to wear to it.

The working-class people only become real to Laura as she enters their turf to deliver a basket of leftover food to the dead man's family. At this point she has her first epiphany, as she realizes the class divide is real and can't be as easily conquered as she thought. She finds herself extremely out of place as she walks among the cottages of the poor:

How her frock shone! And the big hat with the velvet streamer—if only it was another hat! Were the people looking at her?...

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