Literary Devices in The Garden Party
Point of View: Mansfield often conflates her third-person narration with the tone and feelings of her protagonist. This form of narration is called third-person limited. In “The Garden Party,” Mansfield imbues the third-person narration with the feelings and thoughts of Laura as we follow her throughout the day.
Imagery and Symbols: Mansfield uses various natural images throughout her narrative, with a specific focus on flowers. Laura’s hat is decorated with gold daisies that bestow upon her a metaphorical crown. Mrs. Sheridan tells Laura to take the white arum lilies to the grieving Scott widow, although later decides against it as the stems will stain Laura’s dress. Both lilies and daisies connote a sense of purity and innocence associated with Laura’s sheltered upper-class life. In contrast, the Scotts’ garden grows cabbage. The Scotts cannot afford the luxury of aesthetic beauty; instead, their garden functions as a food source. Along with this natural imagery, Mansfield employs light and dark as symbols for the upper and lower classes. While the Sheridans’s house and garden are described as light and airy, the Scotts’s property is shown as dark and grim, foreshadowed by the setting sun as Laura sets off down the lane.
Literary Devices Examples in The Garden Party:
The Garden Party🔒
"People of that class are so impressed by arum lilies."..." See in text (The Garden Party)
"That really was extravagant,..." See in text (The Garden Party)
"wide open, radiant, almost frighteningly alive on bright crimson stems...." See in text (The Garden Party)
"chock-chock..." See in text (The Garden Party)