Dialogue plays a more significant role in Mansfield’s “Bliss” than in “The Garden Party”. The use of dialogue majorly drives the story’s plot and brings the characters closer to the reader’s understanding.
From the perfect application of dialogue between various characters, the readers can understand the story’s plot, the characters’ mood, and their traits from firsthand experience. Dialogue allows the readers to interact closely with the main character Bertha Young and thus enhances engagement.
For example, in her conversation with Mary, the readers can understand Bertha Young’s love for a healthy lifestyle: “Is nurse back […] and has the fruit come? […] bring the fruit up to the dining-room, will you, I’ll arrange it before I go upstairs”. The author allows the readers to understand the reason behind Bertha’s outstanding health and strength despite being in their thirties.
In addition, the dialogue helps the main character share their moods, emotions, and personality with other characters and the readers. For example, the dialogue: “Shall I turn on the light, M’m? […] “No, thank you. I can see quite well,” Bertha is proud of her perfect eyesight despite her age.
In addition, the dialogue plays a role in the transition of scenes. For example, one can trace the interaction between Bertha and Mary at home and with the nurse at the nursery. Dialogue also tells the extensive social network Bertha has developed with her friends like Harry, Mars Norman Knight, and Eddy Warren. Generally, the author showcases how lively life could be at thirty and allows the readership to share Bertha Young’s experiences.
Nonetheless, the dialogue features in “The Garden Party” alongside objective narration. However, its role is not as significant because the author uses objective narration to supplement the dialogue.
Objective narration allows for firsthand access to the story’s plot and enables the readers to comprehend the story open-mindedly. In such narration, one cannot trace who is telling the story. Dialogue plays a role in “The Garden Party” because the readers can understand the plot and the traits of every character.
For example, in “The Garden Party,” the dialogue between Jose and Laura, the readers can understand one trait about Laura “You’ll have to go, Laura, you’re the artistic one”. Katherine Mansfield uses an eccentric form of objective narration and blends well with the dialogue.