Her First Ball- Katherine Mansfield

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"Her First Ball" is a short story written by Katherine Mansfield in 1921. A young girl, about 18 years of age called Leila is the protagonist of the story. The story expresses the Excitement and Anxiety of Leila, who is extremely self conscious at the prospect of attending her first formal ball. The prose is written in Third person Omniscient, where the narrator is not a character in the story nor Leila, but tells the story strictly through her eyes only and we read the thoughts going on in her mind as she experiences her First Ball, and all the hurdles and problems that come with it. The exposition of Leila illustrated that there was novelty in everything that surrounded the event. We are not told what Leila is feeling in the story, but shown through the dialogues of those around her, and what they are saying about her. Also, the author has used actions to depict further the character of Leila. The main themes of the story is that of Excitement, Anxiety and Facing the Reality and are very well portrayed throughout. The setting of the story is that of the early 20th century, in the UK, probably a huge city like London. The Prose is set in the night time, and the socio-economic setting is that of the elite, upper class according to me, as it was them, and only them who were permitted to attend balls in that time period, and this is pointed out in the prose by the costumes of the characters, their mannerisms, and their actions. The story's introduction is the whole scene in the beginning where the protagonist is in the cab with three other characters. It expresses the Main Character's excitement towards the ball, and the fact that she is trying hard to contain herself and not to show it, as it would have been considered inappropriate for a girl in those times to do so. The Rising action is when the old man asks Leila to book him a dance. The Climax is reached when the Old man is dancing with Leila and narrates life's greatest miseries for a...
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