The Reading Life Katherine Mansfield Project
"The Young Girl" by Katherine Mansfield (1888 to 1923-New Zealand) was first published in 1920 and was included in a the 1922 collection of her work, The Garden Party and Other Stories.
I found "The Young Girl" entrancing for the juxtaposing of characterless beauty of a young girl
In her blue dress, with her cheeks lightly flushed, her blue, blue eyes, and her gold curls pinned up as though for the first time—pinned up to be out of the way for her flight—Mrs. Raddick’s daughter might have just dropped from this radiant heavenwith the mystery and apparent ugliness of an older woman as she enters a casino
The ancient, withered creature, wearing a green satin dress, a black velvet cloak and a white hat with purple feathers, jerked slowly, slowly up the steps as though she were being drawn up on wires. She stared in front of her, she was laughing and cackling to herself; her claws clutched round what looked like a dirty boot-bag.The only plot action of the story involves one of the central characters leaving the young girl, her daughter, with a friend so she can go inside the casino as they do not allow children inside. There is no resolved ending to the story and in fact we are left kind of wondering exactly why the young girl is really being left in non-parental care. The conversations are well done and the characters quite credible. I see in this story as in others a certain prejudice against older persons or perhaps this is meant to be a projection of the thoughts of the characters in the story.