Death is the central theme in both stories, The Horse dealers Daughter and The Garden Party. Death seems to bring consciousness and also excites the need for realization within the protagonist in both stories. Death affects the lives of the protagonists of these two short stories, and it plays a primary role in the themes of these writings. The character in the story The Garden Party is known as Laura while the other character to be compared with is Mabel from the story, The Horse dealers Daughter.
Mabel is physically and spiritually revived after she submerged in the lake with the intention of ending her life. She was not happy for the most time of her life since after she lost her parent. Mabel did not see the meaning of life although she kept reassuring herself that …” would always hold the keys of her own situation.”(Lawrence 2335). She also lacks hope for her future, but this is revived when she was saved from drowning and she realized that someone cared about her. On the other hand, Laura was not dead spiritually, but she reached a new level of understanding concerning life through the death of her neighbor Scott. Laura loved life and appreciated nature. She is shaken when she views the beauty of the dead man, and she reflects how he is “so remote, so peaceful.”(Mansfield 2433)
In conclusion, Mabel is not scared of death, and she fails to see the purpose of living. On the other hand, Laura is so disturbed when she learns about the death of her neighbor, unlike the other family members. These two characters are seen to resolve the peace with death, a process that transforms them. Laura learns humanity in the shadow of death while Mabel learns that his life matters.
Lawrence, D.H. “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter.” 1922. Norton Anthology of English
Literature. 7th ed. 2 vols. New York: Norton, 2000, 2: 2330-2341.
Mansfield, Katherine. “The Garden Party.” 1921, 1922. Norton Anthology of English
Literature. 7th ed. 2 vols. New York: Norton, 2000, 2: 2423-2433.