Katherine Mansfield

The Garden Party

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"The Garden Party" is a 1922 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in three parts in the Saturday Westminster Gazette on 4 and 11 February 1922, and the Weekly Westminster Gazette on 18 February 1922.
The wealthy Sheridan family are preparing themselves to host a garden party. Laura is charged with commanding the workers on the placement of the marquee. Her "superior" air quickly disintegrates into an admiration for the workingmen, with whom she feels a personal connection. Laura's mother, Mrs Sheridan, has ordered masses of lilies, to both their delight. Laura's sisters, Meg and Jose, and their servant Hans, move furniture around to accommodate the piano. Jose tests the piano, and then sings a song in case she is asked to do so again later. After surveying the food in the kitchen, Laura and Jose learn that their working-class neighbour Mr Scott has died just outside their gate. While Laura believes the party should be called off, neither Jose nor their mother agrees. After catching herself in the mirror wearing a new hat, Laura eases her conscience by deciding to forget the matter until the party is over.
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