Her first ball short story. Who are the characters in the short story, "Her First Ball?" 2022-10-26

Her first ball short story Rating: 9,8/10 392 reviews

"Her First Ball" is a short story written by Katherine Mansfield, a modernist writer known for her portrayal of middle and upper-class society in New Zealand and England. The story follows Leila, a young woman who is attending her first ball and is filled with excitement and anticipation.

The story begins with Leila getting ready for the ball, trying on different dresses and examining herself in the mirror. She is described as being "all in white," symbolizing her innocence and purity. As she gets dressed, she thinks about the men who will be at the ball and wonders if any of them will ask her to dance.

As Leila arrives at the ball, she is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the event. She is in awe of the beautiful dresses worn by the other women and the handsome men in their formal attire. She dances with several men and is thrilled to be part of the glamour and excitement of the evening.

However, as the night wears on, Leila begins to feel a sense of disillusionment. She realizes that the men she is dancing with are not as charming or interesting as she had thought, and she begins to feel lonely and out of place. She also notices that some of the older women at the ball seem unhappy and envious of the younger ones.

Despite these feelings, Leila remains determined to enjoy her first ball and makes the most of her time there. She dances with a man named Mr. Mannering, who tells her that she is "a little marvel" and that she has a "great future" ahead of her. Leila is flattered by the compliment and feels renewed hope for the rest of the evening.

In the end, Leila's first ball is a mixed experience for her. On the one hand, she has had a wonderful time and has felt the excitement and glamour of being a part of high society. On the other hand, she has also experienced the disappointment and loneliness that can come with such events. Through Leila's experience, Mansfield explores the complex emotions and expectations that surround social events and the lives of young women.

Overall, "Her First Ball" is a poignant and thought-provoking short story that captures the beauty and complexity of the human experience. It speaks to the universal desire to belong and to be loved, and the struggles we all face as we navigate the social world and discover our place in it.

Symbolism in Her First Ball by Katherine Mansfield

her first ball short story

There are three distinct groups in the ballroom: the young men, the young women, and the older chaperones. Were her partners really that wonderful? Looking back on the cab ride over, she thinks that her first partner was the cab itself. Almost immediately the band started and her second partner seemed to spring from the ceiling. But instead of replying the fat man wrote something, glanced at her again. He was tossed away on a great wave of music that came flying over the gleaming floor, breaking the groups up into couples, scattering them, sending them spinning. .

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Her First Ball: Short Story by Katherine Mansfield

her first ball short story

At that the music seemed to change; it sounded sad, sad; it rose upon a great sigh. Leila gave a light little laugh, but she did not feel like laughing. Not even the Sheridan girls, amazed that she has never been to a ball before, can dampen her enthusiasm. Certainly her partner did not say very much. Lesson Summary Katherine Mansfield's Her First Ball is full of symbolism.

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Her First Ball

her first ball short story

Even after the distressing image of herself as a grown woman relegated to the sidelines, the immediate experience of her first ball reclaims Leila when a young man comes to dance with her. His waistcoat was creased, there was a button off his glove, his coat looked as if it was dusty with French chalk. Such products had to be delivered right before they were consumed. Leila, pressing close to Meg, looking over Meg's shoulder, felt that even the little quivering coloured flags strung across the ceiling were talking. Interestingly we are told nothing about his appearance. He steered so beautifully. Neither the fact that she has accepted her own mortality, nor the fact that her youth will flee her, are cause for melancholy.


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The Garden Party “Her First Ball” Summary and Analysis

her first ball short story

So open, in fact, that an inanimate object is a potential mate. At that the music seemed to change; it sounded sad, sad; it rose upon a great sigh. Based on his age and appearance, Leila notices that the old man should be with them—the dance floor is a place for young people. . But Leila didn't want to dance any more. He tells her that soon enough she will be a grown woman and mother sitting quietly on the stage with the chaperones. Suddenly, the ball seems beautiful again.

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Her First Ball: Summary & Analysis

her first ball short story

Mansfield died in 1923 after struggling for many years with tuberculosis. The lights, the azaleas, the dresses, the pink faces, the velvet chairs, all became one beautiful flying wheel. Analysis As in many of Mansfield's short stories, the impact of the story relies on imagery and subtle emotional changes. I can't see a single invisible hair-pin. When Leila interprets the small talk between her cousins as evidence of their closeness, it's obvious that her fanciful misreadings of reality come from her profound desire for a different, more exciting life. They are going to a ball.

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Her First Ball Summary

her first ball short story

In New Zealand at the turn of the century, young men and women often gathered for balls or dances to meet and mingle. Leila is awed by the beauty of the room, and Meg tells the girls around them to help Leila find dance partners. But I can give you two personal examples which resonate: The first is from watching TV. Strange voices answered, "Of course, my dear. GradeSaver, 26 May 2015 Web. Perhaps too she has returned to her comfortable yet distorted reality.

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Her First Ball

her first ball short story

It seemed to her that she had never known what the night was like before. How heavily, how simply heavenly! In her excitement Leila felt that if there had been time, if it hadn't been impossible, she couldn't have helped crying because she was an only child, and no brother had ever said "Twig? But presently a soft, melting, ravishing tune began, and a young man with curly hair bowed before her. Then he goes on and pictures Leila herself in years to come. The second dance partner also opens with a comment on the floor. Her cheeks burned, she was fearfully thirsty. It would have been very unbecoming of a lady to ask a man to dance at this time.

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Who are the characters in the short story, "Her First Ball?"

her first ball short story

She admires the easy gallantry of her cousin Laurie when he arranges, as usual, to have the third and ninth dances with his sister Laura. She watched him leave and be replaced by her next dance partner but the thrill of the evening was gone. The swing doors opened and shut. The fat man led her to the door. She would not be able to dance nor welcome to do so and instead she would sit with the chaperones and watch her own daughter dance and she would wonder where the time had gone and why no one wanted to kiss her anymore. But the girls are focused on the group of men nearby, who eventually walk over to fill out their dance cards.

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