Summary of "The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield

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This essay talks about a short story written by Katherine Mansfield, the story takes place in summer a perfect day which she describes as a ‘perfect day to throw a party in the garden” it basically is about a teenaged girl of a wealthy family living in New Zealand, as her family throws a garden party at their home. They throw this party for their daughter because it was a beautiful summer day and they wanted to do something for their daughter.

This scene talks about how the phone rings and Laura runs into the house quickly to answer the phone when suddenly she runs into her father and her brother Laurie on the way. She answers the phone, and she invites one of her friends to lunch, who is a close family friend. Laura likes to imitate her mother so she tries to do adult things to be more like her. Next Laura goes outside with her butter and bread and meets four men that were working on the estate because Laura likes to imitate her mother she also reflects how her mother deals with men that are complete strangers. This is a problem for Laura because this shows that Laura’s internal conflict over whether to be exactly what her family wants her to be or to be herself and what she wants to be.

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When Laura answers the call, she tends to imitate her mother’s voice and talks to a person to whom they call Kitty Maitland, a close family friend, and she talks to Kitty and then shortly after hangs up and snaps out of this fantasy that she has about being like her mother. Laura could be dealing with an identity problem she doesn’t know what to be and how to act because since she was a child people have been telling how to sit how to act and she doesn’t know if she can be herself around her family, because her family expects so much from her.

To conclude this basically Laura feels trapped in this idea that she has to be someone else to be able to be herself, because she doesn’t know how to be herself and how to be what her family wants her to be, therefore she imitates her mother and has this fantasy that she is her mother so that she can think that she’s being both herself and what her family wants her to be. That is why she is always imitating her mother because she wants to please her family and also please herself by being able to be herself.

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