Write a short note on Mr. Scott's death and Laura's reaction after hearing about his death according to "The Garden Party."

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Laura's first reaction when she hears about the death of Mr. Scott is that the party must be cancelled. She is so shocked by the news, and shown to be rather innocent and naive, and thus she feels they cannot continue with their plans for a party whilst a woman would be grieving and her children would be coping with their father's death. Note the reaction to these pleas from Laura's older sister, Jose:

"Oh Laura!" Jose began to be seriously annoyed. "If you're going to stop a band playing every time someone has an accident, you'll lead a very strenuous life. I'm every bit as sorry about it as you. I feel just as sympathetic." Her eyes hardened. She looked at her sister just as she used to when they were little and fighting together. "You won't bring a drunken workman back to life by being sentimental," she said softly.

Note how the the voice of experience is contrasted with the voice of innocence, which is of course a big theme in the writings of Mansfield. Laura is shown to have not yet gained the class consciousness that her sister and mother exhibit, though she clearly moves to a more "experienced" state by the end of the story.

Read the study guide:
The Garden Party: And Other Stories

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question