The Garden Party

What is the underlying irony in the story 'An ideal family'?

"An ideal family" by katherine mansfield

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The irony is that the family is not "ideal". Mr. Neave isolated himself from his family in order to build his business, an investment that enabled him to successfully provided his family with everything they desired. Now that he is of retirement age; however, he finds he is a burden at home, corralled by his grown daughters into doing what they want and coddled by his wife who seems only passingly interested in his wellbeing. His negligent son, Harold, lacks any sense of duty or familial responsibility.