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As a character Laura Sheridan is endearingly naive. Pampered and petted, she is accustomed to the privileges and comforts associated with the upper middle class and yet she is eager to prove how pragmatic she can be. In comparison to her siblings (who make only brief appearances in the text) Laura is a capable organizer and budding socialite who tends to favor the simpler pleasures of life unlike her mother who is noted for her extravagances. Laura is sympathetic toward the emotions of others and is naturally concerned about the world around her, especially concerning the plight of the lower class. Despite her compassion, Laura’s ignorance in talking to the workmen illustrates how truly naïve she is about how she and her family are perceived by others. Raised in a life of privilege, Laura’s usual concerns about flower arrangements, clothes, and preparing menus seem frivolous but are a necessary part of her life. She is thrilled to be asked to help organize the garden party and is pleased by her family’s and by extension her popularity but there is an underling curiosity about Laura that separates her from her more vapid siblings and mother.
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Laura’s quick dismissal of Mr. Scott’s death reveals a lack of conviction and maturity. Although she tries to do well by others, Laura is still young and easily swayed by her family’s influence, especially her brother Laurie who distracts her with compliments. After their guests depart, Mrs. Sheridan agrees to allow Laura to go down to the Scott’s for a visit. She asks Laura to bring a basket of leftovers but decides against sending flowers. Laura is concerned the Scotts will see the leftovers as an insult (and they should) but what is more concerning about Mrs. Sheridan’s behavior is that she does not send the flowers, revealing an inner selfishness and lack of regard or respect for those beneath her rank. Observant Laura begins to see her mother very differently and once she crosses the road and enters the poverty stricken home of the Scotts, she begins a metaphysical transition from adolescence to adulthood.