Garden Party

Laura’s Journey
Happiness begins with life and continues with death. In this short story by Mansfield, the character Laura walks through the journey of life. As she has the task of creating a wonderful party, she encounters an “accident” (256); and she cannot grasp the understanding of why others do not seem to be as astonished as she. The level of sorrow and empathy are viewed at multi-level spectrums and honor life on earth.
As flowers come in and out of the garden, and the marquee is being set, Laura is informed about a death of a close neighbor. With this knowledge, she becomes frazzled and questions her sister about how to discontinue the party. There was no thinking for her, “they were the greatest possible eyesore, and they had no right to be in that neighborhood at all” (255); it would be un-thought of to do such a thing. Her mother didn’t even give but a word of sorrow to the poor man, Laura did not quite seem to understand why “her mother behaved just like Jose” (257). What is even “harder to bear [is that] she seemed amused” (257). Laura felt just about shameful for not wanting the party to continue. “Is mother right?” (258). Laura could only imagine what the unfortunate family felt; the children without a father. It is a horrid thought to bear. But -somehow- her family’s words get to her and she decides to “remember it again after the party’s over” (258).
After the party, Laura is quickly on her way. Walking down the street frightened, while on her way to deliver the basket full of “scraps from their party” (261), Laura struggles to think of the dead man’s house she will soon reach. Thinking of this man becomes clouded over with thoughts of the successful party. “She had no room for anything else [inside her]” (261). The thought could be many possibilities in her perplexed mind at this time. She soon encounters the man’s house and is timid about the shadows that linger on the porch. Once she approaches the door, the woman insists that she come in....