The story also relates the idea of tempority of absolute happiness and the brevity of the yout. the old man served as the reminder that best never lasts long. Even in Leila’s dreamy environment, there was a reality check when the old man claimed that leila would soon grow old too. the realization of pangs of growing up, as mentioned by the old man, dampened leila’s enthusiam greatly. Another major theme of this story is the resilience of youth. Even though leila was disheartened by the warnings of the old man, she realised that one could not trust the future as it is unforeseen.
Regardless pf the old man’s warnings, Leila proceeded to enjoy herself at the ball, after a slight mood swing. She forgot the old man’s warnings, realising she was still in her youth. Leila deals with the transitory elements of life and the cruelty of people and the unreality of events by choosing to give them no recognition, and instead, with youthful resilience, she enjoys herself in the moment. Another theme suggested in the story is Leila’s loneliness. She felt isolated in the ball party because of her lack of urbane experience.
She was a naive country girl who had just arrived from the outback to the city to attend her first formal ball. Her inexperience in addition to the country side problems and the short coming and contrast of her background with her present scenario were the major causes of her feeling alienated at the ball. This theme runs parallel to the main theme and the author shifts successfully from one theme to another during the story. The ideas of innocence and experience are frequent themes that come up in this story.
We come across in theme of loss of innocence through awareness of mortality and death towards the climax of the story. Theme of aging and gaining of experience as time passes is suggested when Leila sees the reality of growing up, but is unsure of what to do with her new knowledge. It is Manfeild’s attempt to make the readers realize that human emotion and experience is universal, regardless of class distinction. We cannot escape death due to our mortality, thus we must all accept it. Everyone grows to become more experienced over time even and losses their innocence.