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Her First Ball Analysis
Transcript of Her First Ball Analysis
María Jesús Baeza
Samuel Schnider "Her First Ball" Katherine Mansfield Plot Her First Ball Introduction: Country girl called Leila is going to her first ball with her cousins. She is very excited.
They arrive and go to the ladies room. Collect their cards and start to dance.
Climax: One of Leila's partners turns out to be an old fat man. He tells her that nothing lasts forever and that she will grow old. She gets upset. Old man leaves.
Falling action: 4th partner dances with Leila, she decides to ignore what the old man told her.
Conclusion: She's happy again and enjoys ball. Themes & Ideas Naivety & inexperience: Leila's over excitement for 'normal' things
Temporarity of absolute happiness and brevity of youth: happiness and youth don't last forever. This destroys Leila's enthusiasm.
Resilience of youth: she decides to ignore the old man and enjoy life.
Isolation: she felt lonely and socially out of place because of different life styles (country side and urban city). Characters Leila: protagonist (18 year-old girl); naive and immature, very excited about her first ball. Feminine and delicate. Tries to act mature and unexcited.
Old man: antagonist (represents sad part of life). Old, fat, dirty and untidy. He doesn't care about appearance. Tells Leila she will get old soon.
Leila's cousins. Style of Language Very figurative and descriptive that give the poetic feel to the story.
"Past waltzing lamposts and houses and fences and trees"
Beginning: use of literary techniques, shows Leila's excitement.
Climax: lack of literary techniques and detailed observations, reflects her disappointment and anger.
Finale: uses literary techniques again, shows she forgot about the old man and decides to enjoy life. Literary techniques 3rd omniscient person: know everything (Leila’s feelings, the atmosphere, etc.)
Stream of consciousness method: creates excitement
Different tones: gets reader thrilled easily. When the old man and Leila dance it is exciting.
Mood: always changing (happiness, nervousness, sadness, disappointment, fearful, careless, relaxed moods.)
All of these give emphasis to the story and to create atmosphere, they are used to stimulate and involve the reader´s imagination. Personal Response
Memorable event for a young woman
Story symbolizes Leila's entrance to modern society
New experience: she feels excited
Old man gives a negative view of life to Leila
She realizes she has to enjoy life
We relate the story to life: there are always new experiences where we learn new things from them.
There´s always something that may bring you down
it´s important to ignore them and enjoy happiness and youth. Born in 1888, New Zealand
First writings found in high school
1903: moved to England
Met writers that influenced her
Wrote poems and stories
1923: Died of tuberculosis,
post World War I
34 years old Context Published in 1921 1920's: England recovering from postwar
Poor life conditions and industrial problems
Transition era, change between two societies and economies
Jazz and new style of fashion Activity “I’ve torn simply miles and miles of the frill”
“Meg’s tuberoses, Jose’s long loop of amber, Laura’s little dark head”
“the bolster on which her hand rested felt like the sleeve of a young man’s dress suit"
“quivering jet of gas dancing”