Her First Ball

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"Her First Ball" is a 1921 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in The Sphere on 28 November 1921, and later reprinted in The Garden Party and Other Stories.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

A young girl called Leila has come to the city to stay with her cousins. They are going to a ball. Leila is very excited: this is her first ball. Once there, she is both excited and terrified. After dancing with several young boys her own age, she danced with a wrinkly balding man who has been coming to balls for a while. This spoils her mood until she dances with a good looking young gentleman where her worries disappear.


  • Leila, a cousin of the Sheridan Girls in The Garden Party. She is 18 years old.
  • Laura
  • Laurie
  • Meg
  • Miss Eccles, Leila's dance teacher at boarding school.
  • Jose
  • The "Fat Man"
  • the first partner
  • the second partner
  • the third partner
  • the fourth partner
  • the cab driver(just her imagination before the ball)

Literary significance[edit]

The text is written in the modernist mode, without a set structure, and with many shifts in the narrative. The main themes of the story are very dramatically portrayed through Leila's reactions and her emotions.


  1. ^ Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics, explanatory notes

[1] muiz khan

External links[edit]

  1. ^ kathreina