You need to respond to two students&; initial posts, and each of these responses should be at least 150 words.
I have had a wonderful eight weeks! It has been nice to meet everyone. I wish you all well on your future endeavors. I am almost done with my degree, so I am just counting down the days!
As I read the topic this week, I was thrown back to “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield. I loved this story. As I read it and broke it down, I was always feeling a sense of confusion. This could be due to the fact that Laura was jumping back and forth between being her mom and her own person. She was truly struggling in finding herself and being the person she knows she should be. Her mom was making her be someone else. However, Laura was so confused. This came out in her dialogue and actions. An example of this is, “Laura put back the receiver, flung her arms over her head, took a deep breath, stretched and let them fall. “Huh,” she sighed, and the moment after the sigh she sat up quickly.” (Mansfield). Laura was relaxing, but she was thrown back into how she should act (according to her mother) rather quickly. I think we all can guess where the next bit of confusion and unease comes from. In the story, Laura finds out about a death. She wants to stop the party. However, her sister quickly shoots her down. The story reads, “Stop the garden party? My dear Laura, don’t be so absurd. Of course we can’t do anything of the kind. Nobody expects us to. Don’t be so extravagant.” (Mansfield). Laura was ready to completely call of the party. Her sister, Jose, told her they can not, though. There was a dead man outside the front gate, but they were expected to have the party. Contrary to what Laura wanted to do, the party still went on.
The pleasure within the story is a surface type of pleasure. I hope that makes sense. I feel line Mansfield wrote a story that is, on the surface, mundane and innocent. For example, Mansfield writes, “And after all the weather was ideal. They could not have had a more perfect day for a garden-party if they ordered it. Windless, warm, the sky without a cloud.” (Mansfield). This is how the story starts out. The reader is thrown into the weather and marquee placements. I felt like I was reading a story that I would enjoy while sitting in the summer sun drinking a lemonade. However, deeper into the words and actions, we see more. Laura is caught between different worlds and there is a dead guy around the corner. However, the normalities of party planning is everywhere within the story.
Mansfield created a wonderful story full of so many emotions. However, I think it takes a true reader to look deeper into her words than just what is written. The confusion, unease, and pleasure is there. They work so well together to create a story that is one of a kind.
Mansfield, Katherine. “The Garden Party.” 1922.
In Katherine Mansfield, poem “The Garden Party”, the sense of pleasure, unease, and confusion was experience by the readers has the story manifested on many levels. When Laura receive the shocking news of Mr. Scott demise, the readers experience a sense of confusion to what step or action will be taken by Laura and the rest of Sheridan household, after receiving the news. When Laura ask if they are going to cancel the party many readers were left confused because it was unexpected given that the family of Mr. Scott was languishing in poverty (Mansfield). Laura tries to convince her mother to call off the party, the sense of confusion play in the minds of the readers because they were not sure whether Mrs. Sheridan will call off the party because of the death of the neighbor Mr. Scott.
The sense of pleasure played in the minds of readers when Laura was elected to become the face of her family at the Scott’s. She decided to beat all odds and took the leftovers to the grieving family. The sense of generosity depicted by Laura by taking the leftovers appeals to readers especially those who like humanitarian activities. The readers develop a sense of pleasure when Laura decides to go to the bedroom where the corpse has been laid out (Mansfield). The story took the readers to an unease place when Laura apologies for wearing an expense hat to the gathering. She show these signs of regrets when she said “forgive my hat”. Laura portrays a sense of understanding and growth and it appeals to many readers. Other instance of unease that manifests itself in the minds of the readers is when Mrs. Sheridan said that “You’re being very absurd, Laura…people like that don’t expect scarifies from us” (47). The words of Mrs. Sheridan were dehumanizing, but also it portrays a sense of arrogance that’s typical of higher class people. Laura’s journey at the dusk brings a sense of unease to the readers (Mansfield). It is unbelievable that Laura, was able to communicate and function in a different world of lower-class, ill-dressed, grieving, and unsophisticated people.
I enjoyed reading at least one book in each literary period we discussed in this course with my absolute favorite reading being Wuthering Heights in the Victorian era. As stated in our forum instructions, literature should inspire reactions from the reader. While reading Wuthering Heights, I felt a sense of confusion, pleasure and unease.
In my opinion, Emily Brontë used Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship to initially make the reader have a sense of comfort. When Emily Brontë first introduces these characters, they are young playmates who cared deeply for each other. From there, you read of how the rest of the family treated Heathcliff. For example, just after the late Mr. Earnshaw (Catherine’s father) passed away, Catherine’s older brother, Hindley, “…drove him from their company to the servants, deprived him of the instruction of the curate, and insisted that he should labor out of doors instead…” (Brontë 42) This quote refers to the treatment of Heathcliff. This portion of the book made me confused and uneasy. I struggled to understand why the terrible treatment of Heathcliff was occurring or if they somehow justified it.
Further along in the book Brontë begins inciting a sense of pleasure in the reader. She writes of Catherine’s acceptance of losing Heathcliff and begins to show her kinder side. Catherine even becomes a loving wife in a happy home. Then Brontë throws a plot twist out by using Heathcliff to stir up feelings within Catherine again by creating a love interest in her sister-in-law. This causes the reader to sense just a bit of unease. The confusion comes back in when Catherine attempts to embarrass her her sister-in-law, Isabella Linton, by telling Heathcliff while in Isabella’s presence, “Isabella swears that the love Edgar has for me is nothing to that she entertains for you.” (Brontë 99) From this point of the book through to the end, I went from being happy to confused and on to uncomfortable. Then I would be back to happy.
In my opinion, Brontë did a fantastic job creating situations for the reader to become emotionally involved in the book. It felt like a rollercoaster of feelings mixed in with manipulation, anger and some danger.
I will most definitely be reading more books that written in the Victorian period because of this book. I hope you all enjoyed the class and good luck in your future endeavors!
Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Bantam Dell, 2003.