The Garden Party: And Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

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What is an important theme in "The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield?

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Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Perhaps the biggest theme in the story “The Garden Party” is the idea of identity and perspective. Laura goes though several phases with regards to the identity she feels in the story and the perspective from which she sees things.

Laura begins the story relating amicably to the caterers and servants who are setting up the garden party. In fact, she is much more relaxed with them and relates very well with them.

However, when the guests arrive, she blends in, changing personas so as to fit with the partygoers. She acts carelessly towards the caterers and becomes an entirely different person—that is, until she hears about the death of one of the working class individuals. She is shocked and chagrined, ashamed of the revelry when the deceased man could never have enjoyed that luxury and wouldn’t have wanted it because of its unnecessary nature.

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The major theme in the story "Garden Party" is the idea of identity and belonging. Laura is struggling between being a working class...

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