Foundations of Story
11 May 2015
Growing into Consciousness
Main characters Laura and Sarty have tragic flaws according to their social divisions that emerge as catalysts in their metamorphosis. “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner and “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield challenge social boundaries with the main characters, Laura and Sarty. Laura, unlike the rest of the Sheridans, cares not only for the people in her circle, but for those not fortunate enough to host garden parties. Sarty is a young boy that challenges his loyalty to his family when his voice of reason chimes in. Both undergo a transformation of consciousness.
“The Garden Party” ...view middle of the document...
There was an instant where she questioned if it was appropriate to give leftovers as to pity them, because it suggests superiority.
Departing the house on the hill “It was just growing dusky as Laura shut their garden gates. [And into the other realm] the lane began, smoky and dark. Women in shawls and men's tweed caps hurried by […] A low hum came from the mean little cottages.” (Mansfield 574) With the intent to drop off the basket at the door and be on her way, Mrs. Scott’s sister, Em, leads her through the house where she encounters a body and a widow. Mrs. Scott swelled with sadness, looked terrible; Laura witnessed her despair. “His head was sunk in the pillow, his eyes were closed; they were blind under the closed eyelids,” [she admires Mr. Scott.] “What did garden-parties and baskets and lace frocks matter to him? He was far from all those things. He was wonderful, beautiful” (Mansfield 575).
Simultaneously death presented itself and she let out a sob. “Forgive my hat” (Mansfield 575) as Laura realizes she was out of place, then found her way out this harsh reality “down the path, past all those dark people” (Mansfield 575) where she met her brother Laurie. He asks if it was awful whilst she weeps, she explains, “It was simply marvelous” (Mansfield 575) Laura undergoes and epiphany while onto adulthood, seeing Mr. Scott in the ultimate transition as she begins to grasp the meaning of life and death, furthermore understanding a commonly shared humanity where class divisions are fictional. The tragic hero has hamartia, or a tragic flaw, empathy for the grieving family unlike her family’s pity. This empathy sparks the counterpoint and climax of the story resulting in transformation.
“The store in which the Justice of the Peace's court was sitting smelled of cheese” beginning in a courthouse where Sarty’s father, Abner has been accused of burning Mr. Harris’ barn. Sarty’s “stomach read” the cans of meat in the store, sealed away from him, symbolic of his quandary; hence the joys of life his father sealed off from him. Sarty is convinced the people in the court are him and his father’s enemies, the opening emphasizes conflicting loyalties that challenge him. “our enemy he thought in that despair; ourn! mine and hisn both! He's my father,” he thought. During the trial Sarty is called up to testify against his father, and he knows he must say his father did not burn the barn and lie. Then Justice and Mr. Harris recognize they are putting the young boy in a bad position, and dismiss him. The Judge tells Mr. Snopes to leave the county and never come back. Outside Sarty hears some boys calling his father a barn burner, he quickly defends his father in the fight shedding his blood to protect his father’s. We are introduced to Sarty’s flaw, loyalty with “the old fierce pull of blood” referring to the important familial bond he feels with his father. Upon moving, the Snopes family’s existence can be translated into the wagon...