The Dinner Party

2 February 2017

The Dinner Party Mona Gardner ties together clever characterization, careful conflict, and a surprising resolution in “The Dinner Party” to illustrate the theme that everybody has a different amount or self-control, no mater what their gender is. The story takes place in India, where people are meeting and a small dinner party is taking place. A colonel then begins to say a sexist remark. An American guest watches as the hostess tenses slightly, and calls for a bowl of milk.

The American realizes there is a cobra in the room, then asks the other guests to see how well they can test their self-control, until they see the cobra too and the women scream as it is leaving. The host tells the colonel how he was right, until the find out that the hostess knew because the cobra slithered across her foot. Thus proving how the colonel was wrong, and self-control varies from person to person which can be shown through their characterization, conflict, and resolution.

In “The Dinner Party,” Gardner uses the colonel’s snotty attitude and the hostess’s calm manner to prove how self-control may vary depending on the person. The colonel says that “no matter how much self control a woman has, men will always have an ounce more, and it’s that last ounce that counts. ” The colonel was right in one way, but he ends up being wrong too. The hostess was very calm and collected when the cobra crawled across her foot, and not arrogant in the least when she told the group how she had known because of this. Whereas the other women, and even men, had jumped onto their chairs at notice of the cobra in the room.

In the story “The Dinner Party” Mona Gardner does a fantastic job of representing the theme that everybody has a different amount or self-control, no mater what their gender is. She takes the sexist colonel and calm hostess to create a great mood for the story. The conflict adds in a great way to represent the theme, and the resolution ties together the whole idea perfectly. By taking in characterization, conflict, and resolution, this story goes to show that although some women may not have too much self control, it does not mean they all do not, and the same goes for men.

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The Dinner Party. (2017, Feb 23). Retrieved January 8, 2021, from
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