Leila is certainly not worldly as are some of the other girls or world-weary as is the fat man. As the title of Mansfield's story denotes, Leila is inexperienced and naive, having grown up in the country and learned to dance without benefit of masculine partners.
An ingenue, Leila finds each experience thrilling; it is all "the beginning of everything" for her.
Oh, dear, how hard it was to be indifferent like the others!....For it was thrilling. Her first ball!
Everything seems new to her; the night, for instance, Leila feels has merely been dark and mournful before now. But, on this evening, it has "opened dazzling bright." Even when the fat, older man makes her aware of age and mortality, Leila rejects this truth and in her resilience, she seizes the excitement of the moment and glides through the evening, smiling "more radiantly than ever."