The Garden Party: And Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

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How is the theme of discovery explored in the novel The Garden Party?

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Discovery is at the epicenter of "The Garden Party." As a literary work under the genre of bildungsroman, its main purpose is to analyze or follow the development of the main character, including the search for identity (Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms). Therefore, "The Garden Party," although a short story, still follows the structure of this type of novel, and the main character is confounded with the limitations of her knowledge of the world, and of herself, while still making discoveries about herself and the world. 

To a modern reader devoid of the rigors of the society where "The Garden Party" takes place, the story would appear odd. It starts with a social gathering where Laura, a girl from the upper class who has always been shielded from social reality, is asked to take charge of the customary garden party that her mother always puts together.

As part of this "endeavor", Laura has to explore things she has never done before, such as giving orders to "the help", using her...

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