The Garden Party

by

Katherine Mansfield

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Jose Sheridan Character Analysis

Jose is Laura’s forceful, practical, and confident sister who enjoys ordering around her siblings and the family’s servants. The way Jose talks to her mother suggests that she is younger than Laura, and she is happy to act as her mother’s enforcer, encouraging Laura to stop worrying about Scott’s death and “pacifying” the cook, of whom Mrs. Sheridan is “terrified.” Before the party, Jose insists on practicing the song “This Life is Weary” to Meg’s piano accompaniment. Instead of matching its elegiac tone, she sings the song about heartbreak, death, and needless suffering with a wide smile and asks for her mother’s approval. Laura’s conflict with Jose symbolizes her increasing (but incomplete) independence from her family’s social position and her mother’s way of thinking.

Jose Sheridan Quotes in The Garden Party

The The Garden Party quotes below are all either spoken by Jose Sheridan or refer to Jose Sheridan. 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

“This Life is Wee-ary,
A Tear—a Sigh.
A Love that Chan-ges,
This Life is Wee-ary,
A Tear—a Sigh.
A Love that Chan-ges,
And then... Good-bye!”

But at the word "Good-bye," and although the piano sounded more desperate than ever, her face broke into a brilliant, dreadfully unsympathetic smile.

"Aren't I in good voice, mummy?" she beamed.

“This Life is Wee-ary,
Hope comes to Die.
A Dream—a Wa-kening.”

Related Characters: Jose Sheridan (speaker), Laura Sheridan , Mrs. Sheridan, Meg Sheridan, Hans, Sadie
Page Number: 42-43
Explanation and Analysis:

“Oh, Laura!” Jose began to be seriously annoyed. “If you're going to stop a band playing every time some one has an accident, you'll lead a very strenuous life. I'm every bit as sorry about it as you. I feel just as sympathetic.” Her eyes hardened. She looked at her sister just as she used to when they were little and fighting together. “You won't bring a drunken workman back to life by being sentimental,” she said softly.

Related Characters: Jose Sheridan (speaker), Laura Sheridan , Mr. Scott
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Garden Party LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Garden Party PDF

Jose Sheridan Character Timeline in The Garden Party

The timeline below shows where the character Jose Sheridan 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
Beauty, Refinement and Detachment Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
The scene jumps to the drawing-room, where Hans, a servant, and Meg and Jose, two of the other Sheridan daughters, have finished moving the piano. Jose tells Hans to... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
...children can tell that their mother doesn’t have them yet. Mrs. Sheridan tells Meg and Jose to finish getting dressed and tells Laura to write the names on the flags for... (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... (full context)
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
Laura is astonished at the news and brings Jose aside to figure out how they are going to stop the party. Jose finds the... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Beauty, Refinement and Detachment Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
...the death wasn’t in the garden, she has no more sympathy for the Scotts than Jose does. She is “amused,” suggesting that the Sheridans have no reason to worry about the... (full context)
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Beauty, Refinement and Detachment Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
...“people of that class are so impressed by arum lilies,” but takes them back when Jose remarks that their stems might damage Laura’s clothes. Finally, Mrs. Sheridan calls out “don’t on... (full context)