In the short story His First Ball written by Witi Ihimaera an important event that occurred near the end of the text is Tuta learning that he should be himself and not a “carbon copy”. To start with I will describe what happened, where it happened, who was involved, also why and when it happened.

Secondly I will explain how this event helped me understand the key idea to be yourself. Lastly I will conclude my thoughts on the true meaning and my understanding of the event that shows us to be yourself.Tuta Wharepapa is a boy who is possibly in his early twenties who works in a factory packing batteries. Tuta receives an invitation from the Governor General to attend a ball at Government House, to represent his work. Tuta finds it quite challenging to turn into a fancy posh type of person, so he can be ready to attend the ball. Towards the end of the text Tuta is dancing with a lady he had meet at the ball called Joyce who also feels ‘out of place’.

As Tuta was about to leave he realised that Joyce and himself both did not ‘fit in’ very well, so he decided he would just beat them at there own game, as Tuta said “bloody hell, if you could not join them…then yes he could beat them if he wanted to”. Joyce helped Tuta realize this when he noticed how tall she was, and in some way they were both unique compared to everybody else. But because of the obvious difference Tuta desided not to be ashamed of him self and be who you are. That shows readers that Tuta suddenly realises that he should be himself and stop trying to be one of them.I think that towards the end of the story Tuta shows readers a very good example of being your-self, because I have also been in a situation like Tuta’s when I was younger I was at and 18th birthday and I did not fit in very well.

While everyone was drinking and smoking I was sitting down worried as to what may happen next I didn’t handle the situation well because I ended up trying to fit in and be cool the whole night. Tuta shows me that you should stand up for what you think is right and be yourself no matter where you are or who you’re with. “Dance perhaps but using your own steps.Listen, also, not to the music of the band but to the music in his head”.

Tuta shows that everyone has to eventually find out for themself that they don’t have to act like someone they’re not. To conclude I think that Tuta had a very good example and message of showing that you did not have to try be a carbon copy and that it was ok to be who you really were. I think the story very clearly shows the key idea of being yourself no matter who you’re with our where you are. Tuta decided that “From now on balls like these will never be the same again”.

By Shenae Anderson 11sf