The Garden Party: And Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

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What is the significance of "The Garden Party"'s vague ending?

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About Mansfield's ending to her short story, critic Warren Walker remarks, "[It]leaves readers with a feeling of dissatisfaction, a vague sense that the story somehow does not realize its potential." While Walker's remarks hold verity, at the same time, it is apparent that Laura has had some epiphany albeit rather romanticized. And, it is left to the reader to interpret Laura's realization, a fact that may just be Mansfield's intention.

Laura does, indeed, understand class distinction; in fact, she makes a remark about it after enjoying the workman's smelling of lavender,

How many men that she knew would have done such a thing? Oh, how extraordinarily nice workmen were, she thought. Why couldn't she have workmen for her friends rather than the silly boys she danced with....?

Laura is also impressed with...

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