A Journey into Self-Discovery in Araby by James Joyce and Katherine Mansfield’s, The Garden Party

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In “Araby”, author James Joyce presents a male adolescent who becomes infatuated with an idealized version of a schoolgirl, and explores the consequences which result from the disillusionment of his dreams. While living with his uncle and aunt, the main character acts a joyous presence in an otherwise depressing neighborhood. In Katherine Mansfield’s, The Garden Party, Mansfield’s depicts a young woman, Laura Sherridan, as she struggles through confusion, enlightenment, and the complication of class distinctions on her path to adulthood. Both James Joyce and Katherine Mansfield expertly use the literary elements of characterization to illustrate the journey of self-discovery while both main characters recognize that reality is not what…show more content…
The short story begins as the Sherridan household, as they are preparing for an extravagant Garden-Party that will be held within the confines of their large estate. Laura’s personality is characterized early in the story, when she is instructed by her mother to tell the manual laborers where to put the marquee. Her adolescence is symbolized as she initially speaks to the men in a poor attempt at copying her mother’s voice, then immediately thereafter, feeling “ashamed, and stammering like a little girl” (Mansfield, 164). After dealing with the workers, as Laura watched one worker snuff the smell of lavender, which she never would have thought a man of a lower class cared to do. Laura yearns for a more mature man than the “silly boys she danced with and who came for Sunday night supper” (Mansfield, 165). This marks the beginning of the transition from her adolescence into young adulthood. Throughout the onset of the story, there are many instances of Laura tentatively arguing with herself in an internal struggle. Subsequently, when Laura and her older sister Jose are informed about the death of a lower class neighbor, Laura is shocked when Jose does not take the news seriously. When Laura tells her mother the same news, she is astonished that her mother reacted like Jose, as her mother tells Laura “people

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