The Garden Party: And Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

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What types of conflict are used in this piece? In what instances is conflict used?

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One type of conflict in the story is external. The morning of the garden party, a working-class man named Scott who lives nearby with his wife and five children is killed in an accident. Laura, the "artistic" daughter of the upper-class Sheridan family giving the party, feels that they should cancel it out of respect for the man's sudden death. She believes it is the only decent thing to do. The rest of her family, however, is horrified at the idea. The lilies and eclairs have arrived, it is a beautiful day, the sandwiches are made, and everyone is looking forward to the pleasures ahead.

Laura then faces an internal conflict: much as she believes it would show respect to the dead man and his family to cancel the frivolous festivities in light of the tragedy, her mother seduces her into wanting to go ahead with the party by giving her a beautiful hat. Laura sees herself in the mirror and realizes she will look so pretty in it at the party that she wavers:

There, quite by chance, the first...

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