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The Garden Party Marxism

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Samantha Vlaming

on 19 April 2015

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Transcript of The Garden Party Marxism

The Influence of Class Systems within a Victorian Community
This renowned text follows the story of protagonist Laura Sheridan as whilst attempting to carry out the perfect garden party, she struggles with an internal moral debate when a next-door labourer dies.
Due to her privileged upbringing Laura has been sheltered from real world struggles, like poverty and death, that are ever present in the lower class communities.
The polarity between the upper and lower classes is illustrated by Mansfield metaphorically through the placement of the Sheridan's residence and the working class cottages.

The cottages are situated at the "very bottom of a steep rise that leads up to the Sheridan's house."
The location of the housing becomes symbolic of the class status of the people.
It highlights that the working class are seen as being'beneath'the upper class.
This polarity is further shown through the standard of language used when speaking, highlighting a mental contrast between the classes.
Lack of education
Extremely formal; well educated
The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:
Laura's views on social class change after mistakenly seeing the body of the working class man who died.
After witnessing the deceased man:
This choice of diction used when Laura sees the dead mans body represents that she acknowledges the beauty of the fact that this man has passed on from the world of

'status' and 'class' and now exists in a classless realm of social equality.
The Sheridan's
The proletariat
Prior to witnessing the deceased man:
This is a good thing as Laura now realises the effects of the class system in her community.
This is an epiphanic moment for Laura which alters her overall perspective on status in her community.
She realises the folly in worrying over mere garden parties, thinking...
"WHAT DO GARDEN PARTIES AND BASKETS AND LACE-FROCKS EVEN MATTER?"
She is becoming aware of the materialistic commodities of her class and marvels death as only then are you free of any social constraints.
Within the text 'The Garden Party, Mansfield successfully explores the social classess present in the Victorian era setting.
By Samantha Vlaming
Full transcript