Explore the ways in which Mansfield prevents Leila's feeling in the story of her first ball.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a tough question.  On one hand, I think that Mansfield denies or prevents Leila's feelings through not raising questions or objections to how women are perceived socially.  She is bothered by what the fat man says.  She is also bothered by how they are true.  Essentially, Lelia is bothered by the construction of what is.  Yet, Mansfield does not show her outwardly rejecting this or taking a stand in defiance of it.  Rather, Leila goes back to dancing, even bumping into the fat man, and regaling in a social construction that she might internally oppose.  Mansfield prevents or denies articulation of her feelings to demonstrate the point of what the social order does to women.  In Mansfield's silencing of Leila, to a great extent, she is merely demonstrating what society does to women when it places so much primacy on physical appearance and the emphasis on beauty.  It is this where Leila's feelings are denied primarily because women in this configuration are expected to have nothing more than a physicality to them.  When this goes, so they do.  In this, there is a distinct silencing of voice, something that Mansfield does in demonstration of her opposition to what society does.

c91ahvc | Student

Leila in this story is potraying the youth innocence.Mansfeild is hiding leila feelings by 


Read the study guide:
Her First Ball

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question