The Garden Party

by

Katherine Mansfield

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Occasionally capitalized but usually referenced in lowercase, the Sheridans’ cook has a much more forceful presence than the other servants. On the morning of the garden-party, Mrs. Sheridan insists she is “terrified” of cook and sends Jose to “pacify” her; later, even though it seems improper to the children, cook gives Jose and Laura cream puffs just after breakfast. Later, cook is the one who first tells Laura about Scott’s death (although she lets Godber’s man finish the story). Cook’s unassuming warmth and Mrs. Sheridan’s authoritarian directives offer competing maternal presences in the Sheridan household. Nevertheless, the fact that the Sheridans refer to cook by her job title rather than her actual name emphasizes the social hierarchy in the Sheridan household and the family’s general disregard for the humanity of working-class characters.

Cook Quotes in The Garden Party

The The Garden Party quotes below are all either spoken by Cook or refer to Cook. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Garden Party published in 1997.
The Garden Party Quotes

Godber's man wasn't going to have his story snatched from under his very nose.

"Know those little cottages just below here, miss?" Know them? Of course, she knew them. “Well, there's a young chap living there, name of Scott, a carter. His horse shied at a traction-engine, corner of Hawke Street this morning, and he was thrown out on the back of his head. Killed.”

“Dead!” Laura stared at Godber's man.

“Dead when they picked him up," said Godber's man with relish. "They were taking the body home as I come up here." And he said to the cook, "He's left a wife and five little ones.”

Related Characters: Laura Sheridan (speaker), Godber’s Man (speaker), Hans, Sadie, Cook, Mr. Scott
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Garden Party LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Garden Party PDF

Cook Character Timeline in The Garden Party

The timeline below shows where the character Cook appears in The Garden Party. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Garden Party
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
Sadie interrupts to tell Mrs. Sheridan that the cook needs the “flags for the sandwiches.” Mrs. Sheridan says she will “let her have them... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Beauty, Refinement and Detachment Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
Laura brings the sandwich flags to the kitchen where Jose “congratulate[s]” the cook on the fifteen different kinds of sandwiches she has made. The cook simply smiles. From... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
...way outside, Laura encounters Godber’s man excitedly telling a story to Sadie, Hans, and the cook, who look horrified. Godber’s man tells Laura “with relish” that Scott, a cart-driver who lives... (full context)