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Compare and Contrast the old age represented by the fatman and the youth represented by...

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kharsa | Student | Salutatorian

Posted May 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM via web

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Compare and Contrast the old age represented by the fatman and the youth represented by Leila in full details in at least 3 different points.

Include similarities in the comparison.

"Her First Ball" by Katherine Mansfield

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:45 AM (Answer #1)

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In the short story "Her First Ball," by Katherine Mansfield, old age is resentful of youth. The old, fat man envies Leila's youth and tries to ruin her first ball by pointing out the fact that Leila too will grow old. Initially, the old, fat man's spite grabs Leila by the heart. A cloud is thrown on her first ball. Leila's heart sinks for a moment. She thinks about the old, fat man's words. He puts terror in her heart momentarily.

While Leila is pondering the old, fat man's suggestion that she too will grow old and sit among the old women who are not dancing, youth in all its glory shows up and asks Leila to dance. The young man with the curly hair sweeps Leila off her feet. They glide across the dance floor in glory and exuberance.

Leila is over her despondency. She is exhilerated in every move of the dance. When the young man accidentally bumps Leila into the old, fat man, Leila is vindicated. She is triumphant in the fact that the old, fat man cannot keep her spirits down.

Without a recognition of the old, fat man, she feels herself to be revenged of the old, fat man's cynicism. Afterall, what does he know about her future? Perhaps she will live forever and be young at heart.

When Leila bumps the old, fat man, she does not even acknowledge him. She is over his snide remarks. He cannot keep her spirits down. She glides right past him and floats in the ecstasy of her youthfulness.

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