Foreshadowing in The Garden Party

Foreshadowing Examples in The Garden Party:

The Garden Party 5

"Oh, so remote, so peaceful. He was dreaming. Never wake him up again...."   (The Garden Party)

The description of the man’s wake is foreshadowed by Jose’s song in the middle of the story. In particular, her characterization of death as an exit from a “weary” life is picked up again and further developed here. Death has released this man from his weary life and bestowed upon him the peacefulness of sleep. In this way, Mansfield’s characterization of death as sleep subtly refers back to the song and brings its lyrics to fruition.

"A man killed..."   (The Garden Party)

Up until this point, the preparations for the garden party have been simply idyllic. All has gone according to plan, the weather is beautiful, and the party is shaping up to be splendid. However the death of this man casts a shadow on the Sheridan’s perfect garden party, and this eerie and surprising declaration foreshadows events to come.

"out at the doors..."   (The Garden Party)

Notice that the house is described as “alive with soft, quick steps and running voices” and that the “little faint winds [are] playing chase.” Mansfield uses personification to give the story a mystical, supernatural tone. Further, Mansfield’s imagery of the change in the air is both literal and figurative, foreshadowing a future turn of events in the narrative.

"you could not help feeling they understood that roses are the only flowers that impress people at garden-parties..."   (The Garden Party)

Notice that the presence of these roses suggests that there is a supernatural quality to this garden. The roses are not only personified to understand their own beauty, but also seem to appear overnight as if called by a god. Again, the presence of the flowers suggest that there is more to this story than what lies on the surface.

"sky without a cloud..."   (The Garden Party)

Mansfield’s description of the weather as “ideal,” the day as “windless [and] warm,” and “the sky without a cloud,” creates a fantastical, whimsical tone. The setting for the garden party is almost too idyllic. The ethereal imagery suggests from the very beginning that the story will have a mystical element.