The Garden Party

Laura's decision making

How is Laura torn between wanting to go to the party and feeling that it should be called off? Why donesn't she want to go?

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The death of Mr. Scott, only a passing acquaintance, shocks Laura into action. She feels it would be incredibly rude of her family to proceed with their garden party so soon after Mr. Scott’s death especially because he lived and died so close to the Sheridan’s property.

Laura’s vivid imagination and musings over how devastated the Scott family must be in the wake of the tragedy only intensifies her desire to help them. She cannot understand her family’s lack of empathy. The Scotts were their neighbors but Mrs. Sheridan is firm in her decision to have the garden party despite what has happened. Mrs. Sheridan, in direct opposition to Laura sentiments, is deeply prejudiced against families like the Scotts who live in the poorer section of their community.

Because of the attitudes around her, Laura, becomes conflicted over her own feelings and decides it is her duty to continue on with the garden party and is soon engrossed in the festivities. Her quick dismissal of Mr. Scott’s death reveals a lack of conviction and maturity. Although she tries to do well by others, Laura is still young and easily swayed by her family’s influence, especially her brother Laurie who distracts her with compliments.