The politics of voice in Katherines Mansfield's 'The Garden party'

Day, Thomas (2011) The politics of voice in Katherines Mansfield's 'The Garden party'. English, 60 (229). pp. 128-141. ISSN 0013-8215

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Through a close reading of one of Mansfield's most well-known stories, ‘The Garden Party’, this article attends to the way ideological tensions and power relations are conditioned by textures of voice. Drawing on Bakhtin's analysis of the role of ‘The tendency to assimilate others’ discourse […] in an individual's ideological becoming’, the article examines such tendencies in Mansfield's characters, particularly Laura Sheridan, whose nascent social conscience lies delicately poised. The implications of voicelessness, as these relate to discourses of gender, class, and colonialism, are further considered, and the article concludes by suggesting that the resistance of writing to voicing is a source of the ethical and experiential complexity Mansfield's story is concerned to explore.

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