The Garden Party

by

Katherine Mansfield

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Laurie Sheridan Character Analysis

Laurie is Laura’s brother, confidant, and character foil. He is close to Laura in age but behaves in an exceedingly formal way, like a caricature of British gentry. While he is a comforting and understanding presence for Laura in his first two appearances (when they hug and Laura realizes how excited she is for the party, and later when he complements her hat and she decides not to mention Scott’s death), in his final appearance at the end of the story, Laurie embraces the crying Laura and assumes he understands the reason for her tears but really does not. He responds to Laura’s half-sentence “Isn’t life—” with the story’s final line, “isn’t it, darling?” Although the narrator suggests that Laurie believes he understands what Laura means to say, he clearly does not, and their miscommunication evinces the growing gulf between Laura and her family.

Laurie Sheridan Quotes in The Garden Party

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

The little cottages were in a lane to themselves at the very bottom of a steep rise that led up to the house. A broad road ran between. True, they were far too near. They were the greatest possible eyesore, and they had no right to be in that neighbourhood at all. They were little mean dwellings painted a chocolate brown. In the garden patches there was nothing but cabbage stalks, sick hens and tomato cans. The very smoke coming out of their chimneys was poverty-stricken. Little rags and shreds of smoke, so unlike the great silvery plumes that uncurled from the Sheridans' chimneys. Washerwomen lived in the lane and sweeps and a cobbler, and a man whose house-front was studded all over with minute bird-cages. Children swarmed. When the Sheridans were little they were forbidden to set foot there because of the revolting language and of what they might catch. But since they were grown up, Laura and Laurie on their prowls sometimes walked through. It was disgusting and sordid. They came out with a shudder. But still one must go everywhere; one must see everything. So through they went.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Laura Sheridan , Laurie Sheridan, Mr. Scott
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

"Isn't life," she stammered, "isn't life—” But what life was she couldn’t explain. No matter. He quite understood.

"Isn't it, darling?" said Laurie.

Related Characters: Laura Sheridan (speaker), Laurie Sheridan (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Garden Party LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Garden Party PDF

Laurie Sheridan Character Timeline in The Garden Party

The timeline below shows where the character Laurie 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
Beauty, Refinement and Detachment Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
...Laura has a telephone call. She runs inside and encounters Mr. Sheridan and her brother Laurie, who asks her to see if his coat needs to be ironed. She gives him... (full context)
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Beauty, Refinement and Detachment Theme Icon
...tennis court and Kitty Maitland remarks that they look like frogs in their green outfits. Laurie returns from the office and heads inside to get dressed. Laura suddenly remembers Scott and... (full context)
Empathy, Understanding, and Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Beauty, Refinement and Detachment Theme Icon
Childhood, Family and Independence Theme Icon
Laura walks past the rest of the cottages, where she encounters Laurie on the road that separates the rich from the poor in their neighborhood. Laurie says... (full context)