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

The Garden Party: And Other Stories book cover
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What has Laura learned by the end of the story? Has she completely rejected her family's values? Does Laurie really understand his sister? Make sure that you provided evidence from the text. Do not forget to include in-text citations.

Laura learns by the end of the story that there is a profound difference between the poor working class cottagers who live near her and her own affluent world. She is embarrassed by the expensive hat she wears and the leftover pastries she brings to the dead's man's home. Yet she continues to want to smooth suffering into a pretty picture, showing she has not completely rejected her family's values. Laurie can't understand her because she doesn't yet understand herself.

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Laura starts the story having a positive interaction with workmen setting up her family's garden party. This convinces her that there are no class differences and that the classes can all get along as one. When she finds a worker has died, her newfound sense of solidarity leads her to want to cancel the party. The shallowness of her sentiment is exposed when her mother is able to bribe her with a pretty hat to drop her complaints. Later, Laura is sent to the dead worker's house with a basket of leftover pastries.

It is uncertain how deep Laura's change is, but it is clear that she has learned that the classes are not all the same. She feels profoundly uneasy and out of place as she walks among the...

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