The Garden Party

Major themes

Class consciousness. Laura feels a certain sense of kinship with the workers and again with the Scotts. An omniscient narrator also explains that, as children, Laura, Jose, Meg, and Laurie were not allowed to go near the poor neighbors' dwellings, which spoil their vista.

Illusion versus reality. Laura is stuck in a world of high-class housing, food, family, and garden parties. She then discovers her neighbour from a lower class has died and she clicks back to reality upon discovering death.

Sensitivity and insensitivity. The Sheridans hold their garden party, as planned, complete with a band playing music. Laura questions whether this is appropriate, given the death of their neighbor only a few hours earlier.

Death and life. The writer masterfully handles the theme of death and life in the short story. The realization of Laura that life is simply marvellous shows death of human beings in a positive light. Death and life co-exist and death seems to Laura merely a sound sleep far away from troubles in human life.


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