The social picture in The Garden Party

The social picture in The Garden Party

Question: Describe the social picture you get in Mansfield’s “The Garden Party”.


“The Garden Party” which is a masterpiece of Mansfield’s (1888-1923) short stories highlights social consciousness. In this short story, the author describes the class distinction between the rich and the poor where the upper class always disdain the lower people.

Environmental setting

In the short story, the author shows the environmental setting to differentiate between the rich and the poor. The aristocratic Sheridan family lives in a gorgeous home. On the contrary, poor people live in a nearby slum. It is divided by a road between the poor and aristocratic families. The poor neighborhood lives in a miserable sight on the opposite of Sheridan’s house. The little cottage stands at the bottom of a steep rise. These poor people live in- “little mean dwellings painted a chocolate brown.” Thus, the atmosphere of Mr. Scott’s house is contrasting to the house of Sheridan.

Significance of luxury

The short story shows the significance of the luxury of the aristocratic people. Indeed, rich people lead a glamourous life than the poor. Their daily routine is totally different than penniless. Even the leftover food of a party is more valuable to the poor.

The inferiority of the poor

The rich aristocratic people generally look down upon the poor. In fact, they feel proud of their status. They have no respect for the lower people. They scarcely show sympathy for the poor people having no respect.

The social snobs of the upper class

The aristocratic people are also a social snob. Mrs. Sheridan is the paradigm of a social snob. She measures people in the terms of money and wealth. In accordance with Mrs. Sheridan, the poor should be neglected as they possess less wealth. It is proved by sending the leftover food of the party to the poor family by Laura. As she says in a satirical tone-

“Take it yourself, darling”.

Rundown just as you are. No, wait take the arum lilies too.”

Here, she tells this in a way as if the poor had never seen flowers before.

Click here: For all notes of short stories

The hostile attitude of the upper class

The upper-class people show a hostile attitude to the poor. For example, the Sheridan children Laura, Jose, Meg, and Laurie are not allowed to go to the nearby poor neighborhood. When the Sheridan family arranges a party, a poor neighbor named Scott dies in an accident. But without Laura, the members of the aristocratic Sheridan family do not take the matter seriously. In this way, they bring out the social distinction.


Finally, we can say that the short story shows how people of different social classes treat each other. As the upper-class people think that anyone with less money is inferior to them and the lower people feel that they are not worthy of mixing with the upper-class people. So, it is the responsibility of the upper-class to create a way to abolish social discrimination.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

Articles: 158

Leave a Reply

error: Sorry !!