The Stolen Party
The Naivety of Rosaura in the Stolen Party
An experience can allow an individual to gain knowledge and skill in a certain area. It helps people understand the consequences of behaviours and lose their innocence in the process, but also gaining wisdom and maturity along the way. As well, it is a way to overcome fears and challenges, while learning new ideas and looking at life in a different light. However, an experience can sometimes affect someone in a negative way. It can allow an individual to begin to understand the truth of society and its cruelties. In the short story “The Stolen Party” written by Liliana Heker, Rosaura deeply wants to fit in. She tries really hard but after going to the party, she finds out the true harshness of society. Initially, Rosaura’s innocence clouds her judgement causing her to believe that she is invited to a rich girl’s party just as a regular party guest, going to the party despite her mother’s orders. However, when she gets to the party, she continues to believe that she is being treated as an ordinary guest like the others, not understanding what is truly happening in reality. Finally, at the end of the party, Rosaura begins to realize that people treat her differently because she is in a lower class, and was treated as a servant, not as a friend like everyone else. As a result, her innocence is lost. Liliana Hecker informs the reader of the differences between the social classes and how an experience can change a person’s perspective and how they think. She suggests how different people will get treated differently depending on where they stand in the social hierarchy.
When naive 8-year-old Rosaura receives an invitation to a rich girl’s party, she is optimistic and believes she can get accepted into the higher class. Rosaura’s mother admits “ ‘I don’t like you going … it’s a rich people’s party’ ”(1). The straight forward way of her mother telling Rosaura “I don’t like you going” suggests how her mother is trying to protect her daughter before she gets hurt, but Rosaura is innocent and does not understand what her mother is trying to say. She overreacts by saying “I’ll die if I don’t go”(1) This hyperbole reveals her naivety because it suggests how much she really wants to go to the party and desperately wants to belong and fit in. Rosaura emphasizes her point of wanting to go to the party by claiming that “I’m going because I’ve been invited … And I’ve been invited because Luciana is my friend. So there”(1). This shows how naive she can be because she doesn’t understand that she is being used at the party and not just invited as a guest like she thinks she is. Her mother attempts to tell her the truth by pointing out “ ‘that one’s not your friend. You know what you are to them? The maid’s daughter, that’s what’ ”(1). However, Rosaura continues to deny the fact that the only way the upper class sees her is the maid’s daughter and still begs to go. This portrays her naivety because she still does not understand her mother’s intentions. The next morning, her mother gives in and allows her daughter to go and experience it herself. When Rosaura finishes getting ready she “admires herself in the mirror, with her white dress and glossy hair”(1) The white dress symbolizes her innocents because white symbolizes pureness, as well, she doesn’t know the real reasons of the dress and nice hair, which is to impress the hosts so she gets treated nicely and makes a good first impression. Once she arrives, she is eager to attend and has high hopes for the party. Even when she gets asked to help in the kitchen, naive Rosaura believes the party is going well, and she is really fitting in with the others.
Rosaura continues to believe that she is blending in with the higher class during the party, consequently, she still proceeds to serve the guests, unaware of the situation at hand. Rosaura’s excitement increases when Senora Ines points out “ ‘yes, you, but not the others’ ”(1), referring to going into the kitchen. This makes her feel special and wanted, however, she does not realize that being the only one in the kitchen is not a pleasant situation because she’s the only one getting paid. Usually, guests are not in the kitchen because that is where all the work and preparation are done and guests are supposed to have fun. Guests usually get to hang out in the living room or other areas, but Rosaura is stuck in the kitchen to help. She doesn’t get to leave the kitchen, other than when she needs to serve the guest’s food, as a servant would do. She is being used, but she still does not know it, because to her, helping out is fun. As time goes by, she begins to feel like she is belonging, especially when she gets to see the monkey for the magic show before anyone else. Luciana adds excitement to Rosaura when she says “ don’t tell anyone, because it’s a surprise”(1). This makes Rosaura feel joy and happiness because she is special and the only one allowed to see it. She thinks she is fitting in because she is getting special treatment, but in reality, it is to amuse Rosaura so she will help in the kitchen. When it was time to cut the cake, “Senora Ines had asked her to help pass the cake around, and Rosaura had enjoyed the task immensely because everyone called out to her shouting ‘Me, me!’ ”(2). The task makes her feel important because she is innocent and still does not understand that it was more of an order than a privilege. She thinks that the guests calling out to her is because she is popular and finally fitting in. She also feels special when “everyone called out to her shouting ‘Me, me!’ ”(2), however, in reality, she is mistaking it and people actually just want the cake, and she just happens to be the one serving it. Rosaura, still optimistic about fitting in with the crowd, continues to be oblivious to what is happening, as the end up of the party nears.
Finally, as the party comes to an end, her innocence is deprived in exchange to find out the harsh truth; she will never fit into the higher class. As her mother comes to pick her up, they stand in the entrance, awaiting her gift. She is thrilled and excited that she gets one, however when Senora Ines “ rummage[s] in her purse” (3), Rosaura is shocked because “In her hand appear[s] two bills” (3).” This is the moment she realizes her role at the party, and why she was really there. As well, Senora Ines adds “ ‘You really and truly earned this…Thank you for all your help, my pet.’ ”(3) This shows that she had to earn her gift rather than just getting one because she attended the party like everyone else. She realizes that she isn’t like everyone else in regards to where she is in the social hierarchy and why she was invited to the party. When she realizes what is happening, “Instinctively, she pressed herself against her mother’s body. That was all. Except for her eyes. Rosaura’s eyes had a cold, clear look that fixed itself on Senora Ines’s face.”(3)
It signifies how her mother was right all along and she finds comfort and safety when she is with her. She knows her mom will protect her, but at the same time she is furious that she was being used this way. Her mother’s hand is on her shoulder shows that her mother is comforting her and helping her daughter deal with, what Rosaura thinks is an unexpected turn of events. Even though her mother knew all along, she wanted Rosaura to really understand the situation, so instead of trying to convince her, she teaches Rosaura a lesson by letting her go to the party. “Rosaura’s eyes had a cold, clear look that fixed itself on Senora Ine’s face” suggests that even though her arms stiffen and she moves closer to her mother, her eyes stare right into Senora Ines face because she is mad, but also doesn’t want to look anywhere else because she knows she is about to cry. She can’t believe that the girl with the bow was right and she doesnt know what to do other than keep on staring at her. She understandsd the different social classes and recognizes that she is in a difference class than everyone else at the party which results in her getting a different gift, and getting treated differently than the other guests.
Classism in the Stolen Party by Liliana Heker
We live in a world where how much you earn will determine your place in society. The short story “The Stolen Party” by Liliana Heker gives a perfect example of this important issue. The main theme in this story is classism. More specifically, classism is very ingrained in society and it is difficult to eradicate. Classism refers to when people are treated differently because of their perceived class. This is important in today’s society because in some ways classism is comparable to the behaviours and attitudes expressing sexism and racism towards someone which are all still relevant to this day. This is either by excluding a person in the lower class out of everything, making them feel they have no power or voice, or either by stereotyping them.
One generalization and stereotype about poor people is that they are lazy. Individuals who belong to the lowest parts of society and class are seen as deviants who refuse to work hard and climb out from the bottom of the pyramid. Yet these individuals are the ones who usually work the hardest but are looked down upon for being in that lower class. In the short story, this is surely nothing but untrue as Rosaura works hard for Luciana’s birthday party. This thinking is similar to other forms of bias and oppression that have long existed and are hard to eradicate.
Moreover, people who are less fortunate feel as though they have no power or at least that’s what people in the higher class make them think. By handing Rosaura the dollar bill, Senora Ines made her think that she was less than and made it clear that she was nothing but a servant. People who are higher class often have prejudice or discriminate against those who are less fortunate even without saying a word. By making the less fortunate feel inferior, this makes the wealthy think they have more control and power over them. Classism allows for preconceived notions that an individual in the upper class is more intelligent and eloquent than someone in the lower class. This allows them to believe that they can dictate those who are poor and judge them whether which behaviours are acceptable.
Lastly, those on the higher end of the class ladder often exclude lower class individuals out of everything. They do this as though they feel the poor are not the same type of people as them. In the story, Luciana’s cousin did not like Rosaura associating with them and the other kids just because she was the daughter of the employee. Often, the rich do not like to associate or even acknowledge the less fortunate for the reason of wanting to strengthen the dominant class group. Even though their beliefs and ideas are the same, the wealthy would think less of individuals who are less fortunate to create separation and distinguish the two creating the categories of poor and rich.
Throughout history, people have often looked at the ranks of individuals based on their economic status, level of education, family lineage, and job status. Classism remains an important issue and a big problem within the society that needs to be eradicated. Social class is not easy to overcome since everyone is forced to look define the stereotypes of society. We see classism in everyday life whether it comes to school, in the workplace, or in the media. We can step forth and resolve the problem however only by realizing the problem and attempt to solve it before it is too late and have a huge impact on future generations.
The Aspects of Society in the Stolen Party
As I leaned back in a big chair at my house, and I read a book which my grandmother just gave to me. I knew I would learn a new lesson from the book because learning through experience is an important part of life. Passing three short stories, I found an interesting story that I could learn more about aspects of society.
“The Stolen Party” is a fiction story written by Liliana Heker which tells us about an innocent girl. Rosaura, who is a Herminia’s daughter, was very happy because she was invited as a friend to a birthday party which was a Lucian’s birthday party, a daughter of Senora Ines, whose house Rosaura’s mother cleans. Herminia tried to tell Rosaura that Rosaura should not come to Lucian’s birthday. However, Rosaura didn’t care about that and enjoy the party. During the party, Rosaura Rosaura met a girl who is Lucian’s cousin wearing a bow in her hair. The girl and Rouaura argued who Rosaura was. After that, Ines asked Rosaura to serve the cake for other Lucian’s friends. At the end of the party, when Lucian’s mother gave Lucian’s friends a small gift, she saw Rosaura and her mother leaving. Ines asked them to wait a minute, and then Ines gave them 2 bags which had some money inside, and thanked for helping. The story implied deep character, the separation between social classes, and inhuman treatment.
One of the strongest features of “The Stolen Story” is the depth of its colorful cast of characters. The author starts the story with an argument between Rosaura and Herminia. Rosaura is an innocent girl who never knows what is a real live. She wants to go to the party because Rosaura thinks she is invited, but her mother doesn’t want Rosaura to go to the party because of rich people party. Rosaura said, “I’ve been invited because Luciana is my friend.” or “I’ll die if I don’t go.” Herminia said, “That one’s not your friend. You know what you are to them? The maid’s daughter, that’s what.” Rosaura ignores her mother’s warning as she said,”Shut up! You know anything about being friends!” Rosaura is hardness and an inexperienced girl. She doesn’t image that her mother who knows what is a real live will be right. The party won’t be for her, and she doesn’t realize that not everyone in the party will treat her with the same respect or as her treatment.
Second, “The Stolen Story” points out the barriers that separate the different classes in our society. As a reader’s view, the author demonstrates this point through symbolism between Rosaura and the monkey. The significance of the monkey to Rosaura is made clear to the reader by the constant mentioning of the animal. Although Rosaura doesn’t realize it, she and the monkey are being used for the same basic purpose at Luciana s birthday party. At the party, the monkey is there only to entertain the upper class children whether it wants to or not. Rosaura, like the monkey, is there for the same basic reason which is to serve the upper class children by serving them when they need something. When being compared to a monkey at the party, Rosaura is very similar to it when dealing with social classes. The monkey is separated by a cage which it can not break through, and all it can do is follow the orders given to it by the magician.
Moreover, “The Stolen Story” also implies inhuman treatment. The behavior of Senora Ines is an excellent example of someone restricted to a perspective that only views people by class. Being in the uppermost class, she can only see Rosaura for what she is in the most general of terms, a poor young daughter of a maid. Rosaura is more than this, and reading from her perspective we understand that- but in a very socially stratified society such as this, what you are born into is something you simply cannot escape. The lower class can, in some manner of speaking, coexist with the upper class. Though, by Senora Ines actions, we can deduce that in the end it can be two wildly different incentives for such a society to function as such. At the party, Rosaura is practically interrogated by Luciana’s friends, being asked how she could possibly know Luciana and just what exactly her mother does, and only shown respect when she talks with people who are in the same class.
Analysis of the Stolen Party Novel
Lilian Hekers “The Stolen Party” is about a nine-year-old girl named Rosaura who goes to a rich girls party. This takes place at a rich girls house where her mother works as a maid. Rosaura thinks she is Lucianas friend but at the end finds out that they could never be friends because of social class difference. The monkey and the magician represent the same kind of relationship between Rosaura and Senora Ines and that is the monkey and Rosaura are both servants, but dont realize it. What is really going on is both the magician and Senora Ines are taking advantage of them. Symbolism such as the monkey and what the party represents compared to society are used in “The Stolen Party.”
Near the middle of the story it is evident how Lilian feels about the social class system. She compares the party to the social class, and how the rich people are on one side and the poorer people are on the opposite side. Heker does not like the social class system and she doesnt want the reader to like it either. This story shows how the people in the story are the same, but still separated by one big gap and that is class status. The first hint to that was when the girl with the bow talked to Rosaura. “I and Luciana do our homework together,” said Rosaura very seriously. “That is not being friends,” the bow headed girl said (614). In that quote what the girl with the bow said that Rosaura was not a friend of Lucianas just because you do your homework together. She did not understand what real friends are. She thought that friends were made by the social class you are in, which she probably learned from her parents. This represents Hekers anger about the social class system and she wants you to see how stupid the class system is.
Another symbolic element that illustrates the theme about social class is how the monkey and the magician have the same relationship as Senora Ines and Rosaura. Senora Ines and the magician are taking advantage of somebody that is clueless as to what is going on. Senora Ines led on Rosaura that she was Lucianas friend, but she was really there to be part of the help. She found out the hard way as she was leaving the party. Rosaura noticed all the other kids got toys when they left, but when it was her turn she got money. She knew then what her mother was saying at the beginning about how she didnt belong was true.
Ah yes, your friend, her mother grumbled. She
paused. Listen, Rosaura, she said at last.
That ones not your friend. You know what you are
to them? The maids daughter, thats what.(613)
Her mother was trying to hint to Rosaura about why she did not want her to go to the party at Lucianas.
Lilian Heker used symbolism and a party to show her feelings about the social class system. Although the first time reading this story it does not seem like anything is really going on, if you read it a second time you begin to see the hidden meanings behind the party and what symbolism was used. If she had not used those elements to explain her feelings it would have made for a very boring story.
Uniqueness of Characters in the Stolen Party
The characters in the short story, The Stolen Party demonstrate striking differences in their values and beliefs. Each character displays unique traits. It is these unique traits, which illustrate different aspects of society. Each character then, represents a portion of the values and beliefs of today s society.
Rosaura is the main character of this writing. The story revolves around her from start to finish. Rosaura is an inexperienced young girl. This story opens with an argument between Rosaura and her mother. Rosaura wants to go to Luciana s birthday party. Luciana is in a wealthy family so Rosaura s mother disapproves of her daughter s attending the party. In the first few sentences the author makes it evident that Rosaura is financially challenged. Rosaura s mother says, I don t like you going because it is a rich peoples party. This one sentence already tells me that they are probably not very wealthy. In addition Rosaura is an inexperienced young girl. She is not tarnished by the belief that everyone should be judged according to his or her financial worth. She, unlike her mother, judges people by who they are and not by how much money they have. When Rosaura s mother states, you should not fart higher than your own ass she shows that she feels below those who are wealthy. Rosaura s argument shows that she does not feel bound by her financial status. Her financial state isn t even an issue to her. She says that she wants to go because she is a friend of Luciana and because she was invited. The author also demonstrates Rosaura s openness in the first few paragraphs of the story. Since Rosaura is only nine years old she has no prior experience of prejudice. She does not realize that her mother might be right about her assumption that not everyone will accept her at the party and treat her with the same respect.
The author begins the story by demonstrating how much Rosaura s mother loathes the rich. Her disapproval of her daughter s attending the birthday party, expresses some hidden anger and maybe even jealousy towards those who are wealthy. Rosaura s mother feels lower than Luceana s family. She feels that a person s financial status determines whom a person can associate with. The author eventually reveals that Rosaura s mother is a maid. Because her job does not pay very high wages she feels inferior to Luciana s family. Her feelings of hostility toward the wealthy might come from years of prejudice. Rosaura s mother constantly feels bound by her financial situation. Rosaura s mother does not want her daughter going to the party because she is the daughter of humble maid. She feels that her daughter will not be looked upon as an equal, no matter what. Rosaura s mother states, That one s not your friend. You know what you are to them? The maid s daughter, that s what. But no matter how strongly Rosaura s mother feels about this, she is willing to let her daughter go to the party. This demonstrates the unconditional love she has for her daughter.
There are some characters in this story that are not developed as well as Rosaura and her mother. One of these characters is Luciana. Luciana is very similar to Rosaura in that she sees everyone as an equal. She does not consider Rosaura to be different from any of her other friends. She never considers Rosaura s financial situation to be important. She treats Rosaura like all of her other friends.
Another character, which is not covered in depth, is Luciana s cousin. She is brought into this story through an argument with Rosaura. Luciana s cousin doesn t know Rosaura but she feels inclined to start an argument with her anyway. Luciana s cousin begins to question Rosaura. She questions the fact that Rosaura is a friend of Luciana. Luciana s cousin seems to think that she is better than Rosaura. This shows the reader the first clues that Rosaura s mother could have been right about wealthy people not accepting Rosaura.
Another character that is only introduced briefly is the magician. The author does not get into his personality or values but it is made clear that he sees all of the children as equal.
The last character that is introduced is Senora Ines. Once again the author does not develop her in depth. The author places her in the story in order to demonstrate the prejudice, which Rosaura s mother had described. Senora Ines offers Rosaura money at the end of the party rather than a small gift. This demonstrates to Rosaura that she is, in fact, looked upon as being different from the other children.
Each character in this story demonstrates an aspect of society today. Rosaura signifies the unsuspecting poor child. She represents the fact that a person usually does not develop stereotypes until they have experienced many of the aspects of life. Rosaura s mother is placed in the story to illustrate another fact about today s society. Rosaura s mother demonstrates that society influences the way a person thinks. She shows that from years of experience she has developed a pattern of stereotyping wealthy people. Luciana represents the wealthy part of society that does not see less fortunate people as being different. She, like Rosaura, does not stereotype people because of their financial worth. Luciana s cousin, on the other hand, demonstrates that part of the wealthy population that feels superior to the financially challenged. The magician in this story represents someone like a priest or a charity worker. He sees all of the kids at the party as equals. He is willing to let any of them participate in his magic. Senora Ines plays the part of society that feels obligated to offer charity to those who are less fortunate.
The author not only writes a very interesting story but also provides an important message regarding society. People are too concerned with money in today s society. If we could all remain innocent (such as Rosaura and Luciana) and never become prejudice towards others the world would be a better place. Everyone would be judged according to who they are and not by what they posses.
An Overview of the Stolen Party
The Stolen Hour
In the story of The Stolen Hour by Lillian Hecker she tells us an interesting story of a young girl and her experiences that could change her for the rest of her life. The young girl named Rosaura is the daughter of a servant that works for a wealthy family, but young Rosaura does not see herself as poor and insignificant. She believes she is just as good as everyone else. Although Rosaura is not a part of the same social and economical category as the people at the party, she doesnt see herself in the light, until an event in the story takes place and she begins to distinguish herself in a way that is completely opposite of what she thinks at the stories beginning.
All of Rosauras young life she is constantly told who she is, and of her irrelevance compared to that of the rich people. As she is getting ready to go to the party to see her friends, her mother says, You know who you are to them? The Maids daughter, thats what (Hecker handout). After being told over and over by others who you are, sometimes we feel limited as to what we may be able to become. In everyday life, my friends parents are doctors, and all of his life others have told him that he would become a doctor. Just as Rosaura is often told of her place and of her options, he too felt the pressure of his surroundings to conform to what others thought he should be. Rosaura at the party is told she is not even a friend to the girl having the party, but again she is called the daughter of an employee (Hecker handout). The ending of the story reveals many instances that make Rosaura actually realize herself and what is going on around her the entire time at the party, in this moment when she receives the money instead of a gift like the other children, she is being told that she is not a little girl having a good time. She is just an employee. She start to realize what her mother has told her all along about people and the restrictions that classes in society try to put on lower groups.
Throughout the story Rosaura has a great imagination and very positive views on life. When her mother tells her it is a rich peoples party trying to infer that is not her place to be, Rosaura puts them on the same level by saying, Rich people go to heaven too (Hecker handout). Rosaura does not to settle in life with trivial things she wants a big nice house and wonders if her mother will still love her if she becomes rich (Hecker handout). Here we see Rosaura looking forward toward the future not ruling out anything. She knows in her life she will become something. We find out she is one of the smartest girls in her class and she is also very pretty. Just before the end of the story we realize what a strong character the young girl is, she has many pleasant hopes and dreams for the future. Her site seems very narrow and set on coming out of poverty. Then, the incident comes about when the money is trying to be given to her. This totally changes all of the views we imply about the young girl having of growing up and prospering. She finds herself discovering what her future might be instead of all those wishful things she has dreamed of. It may in fact be simple and plain, just the very things in life she has been trying to get away from
In Rosauras life we see a world she wants and the actual world in which she lives. As she goes to the party, sees the monkey, wins all the games, and is chosen for the magicians assistant, in the meanwhile she is serving cake and helping in the kitchen this shows examples of the world she wants and the one she lives. She wants so bad to just be thought of as one of the other children, but she is different. She says she is invited to the party as a friend, but we know she is invited just to help out. She liked passing out cake because everyone noticed her and she felt wanted, but they really just wanted cake. She doesnt yet actualize her meaning at the party, the poor innocent girl. We can see what is going on the entire time. It reminds me of when I was a freshman in high school and a senior girl had been nice to me all day, I began to think she liked me, then at the end of the day she wanted me to fix her car. Again after she is offered the money she finds the intent of her presence and her dream world seems to fade away and she sees begins to realize the big picture to well. The true world began to stand out, she understands all along why everyone was nice, why she was able to go in the kitchen and nobody else, and why she was able to do all the task that she thought was just helping a friend. Now she is able to draw a direct distinction of the real world and her impressions of what she hoped and believed was going on.
All the events in the story lead young Rosaura to believing that her opportunities are few. As the story began she was just an innocent little girl wanting to go to a birthday party, then as the story progressed to the end she looses this innocence and begins to recognize and conclude that she is different from the other children. At the turning point, when the money is offered in place of the toy, Rosauras character I believe undergoes a complete change. She actualizes that she may be just the daughter of an employee; her views change from positive to negative, and her fantasy world disappears. This self-realization could harm a young person for life, as it did Rosaura. These actions lead me to the conclusion that children should always be told that they can be anything, and even if they cant we have no right to make them believe that they are restricted in the amount that they may be able to achieve.
The Differences Between Classes in The Stolen Party by Liliana Heker
The world is made up of a population of shallow people. What matters and is valued in society is not how one behaves, but more so how one stands financially or in social class. The difference in treatment between those different classes is what inspired Liliana Heker to write The Stolen Party, a short story published in 1982. The story follows a maid’s young daughter, Rosaura, and how by experience, learns of the reality concerning her social position. After much argument, Rosaura’s mother allows her to attend her wealthy friend Luciana’s birthday party, despite knowing the consequences of her going. At the party, Rosaura believes that she is being treated specially, with Señora Ines tasking her with jobs that she would not trust the other children to do. She later realizes, however, that she had not been invited to the party as a guest, but as a worker. It does not matter to others how well she behaves as because she is the maid’s daughter, she will never receive the same level of respect or treatment from those of higher class. Through the use of symbolism and conflicts, Heker’s short story The Stolen Party reveals the influence of social class on the received treatment and proves how one’s outward appearance affects the types of relationships they will encounter.
Firstly, Heker uses symbolism to demonstrate the effect of one’s social class on the treatment they receive. For example, throughout the story, the significance of the monkey to Rosaura is made clear to the reader by the constant mentioning of the animal. The symbolism of the monkey and the magician represents the idea of servant and master respectively. This idea is used as a metaphor to describe the relationship between Rosaura and Luciana’s mother, Señora Ines. To explain, as the magician performs his tricks, the monkey is referred to as his ‘partner.’ The monkey is forced to obey every command the magician makes, acting as his servant. To compare, at the end of the party before Rosaura leaves, Señora Ines does not give Rosaura a gift. Instead, she hands her over two bills, stating that “[she] really and truly, earned this, […] [thanking] [her] for all [her] help, [referring to her as] [her] pet” (Heker 5). At the party, Señora Ines commands Rosaura to do certain tasks, such as cut the cake for the guests. Though it seems like a privilege at first, it is later revealed that this was due to the fact that Rosaura had not attended the party as a guest but as a worker. Moreover, the significance of Señora Ines rewarding Rosaura with money describes the miscommunication as a result of social class. It is presumed that Señora Ines was not actively being rude to Rosaura when she “rummaged in her purse. [and] in her hand appeared two bills” (Heker 5), but because of the differences between classes, she assumes that those of lower class want nothing more but money. To those of higher social class, money is the solution to every problem. It is the fault and inequality of social class that leads Rosaura to be treated the way she is in the story.
Furthermore, the conflicts Rosaura faces and the resulting relationships she encounters is the cause of the differences between social class. For instance, during the party, a blonde girl with a bow attending the party as a guest approaches Rosaura, asking her who she is. The naive Rosaura replies, stating that she is a friend of Luciana’s. However, the blonde girl with the bow is not convinced as “[she is] her cousin and [she] [knows] all her friends. And [she] [does not] know [Rosaura]” (Heker 2). Luciana’s cousin then proceeds to question Rosaura of her background and why she is at the party, but Rosaura only says that she is the daughter of the employee as this was what her mother had instructed her to say. This represents the clear division between social classes as though Rosaura believes that she is Luciana’s friend, it is evident that to Luciana, she is simply just the maid’s daughter. Additionally, Rosaura’s relationship with Señora Ines shows the disunity of classes and portrays the reasoning behind the lower class’ hatred on the higher class. When quarrelling with her mother in order to gain permission to attend Luciana’s party, her mother argues that she does not want her going because it is a rich people’s party. Rosaura in turn thought that it was unfair of her mother to accuse other people of being liars simply because they were rich. However it is at the end when Rosaura begins to understand why her mother despised them. Her realization of the unjust treatment she receives as a result of her social class displays in her “cold, clear look that fixed itself on Señora Ines’s face” (Heker 5). Rosaura’s facial expression in this scene represents the acknowledgement of her mother’s words and the understanding that rich people are not the poor’s best friend. As a result, the story exhibits, to a degree, the unlikeliness of friendships forming between those of different social class backgrounds due to the misunderstanding of intent in both parties.
To conclude, The Stolen Party establishes the effect of social class on one’s received treatment and the relationships they face using symbolism and conflicts. The misinterpretation of one’s motive and behaviour towards those of different classes demonstrates the inability for positive relationships to be an outcome in society. Rosaura’s change in personality from the beginning to the end of the story displays how ignorance is bliss, but one will inevitably learn the truth and the pain that follows is the consequence of knowledge. Afterall, as poet Thomas Gray once wrote, where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.
An Analysis of the Characters of Liliana Hecker’s Short Story The Stolen Party
The characters in the short story, The Stolen Party demonstrate striking differences in their values and beliefs. Each character displays unique traits. It is these unique traits, which illustrate different aspects of society. Each character then, represents a portion of the values and beliefs of todays society.
Rosaura is the main character of this writing. The story revolves around her from start to finish. Rosaura is an inexperienced young girl. This story opens with an argument between Rosaura and her mother. Rosaura wants to go to Lucianas birthday party. Luciana is in a wealthy family so Rosauras mother disapproves of her daughters attending the party. In the first few sentences the author makes it evident that Rosaura is financially challenged. Rosauras mother says, I dont like you going because it is a rich peoples party. This one sentence already tells me that they are probably not very wealthy. In addition Rosaura is an inexperienced young girl. She is not tarnished by the belief that everyone should be judged according to his or her financial worth. She, unlike her mother, judges people by who they are and not by how much money they have. When Rosauras mother states, you should not fart higher than your own ass she shows that she feels below those who are wealthy. Rosauras argument shows that she does not feel bound by her financial status. Her financial state isnt even an issue to her. She says that she wants to go because she is a friend of Luciana and because she was invited. The author also demonstrates Rosauras openness in the first few paragraphs of the story. Since Rosaura is only nine years old she has no prior experience of prejudice. She does not realize that her mother might be right about her assumption that not everyone will accept her at the party and treat her with the same respect.
The author begins the story by demonstrating how much Rosauras mother loathes the rich. Her disapproval of her daughters attending the birthday party, expresses some hidden anger and maybe even jealousy towards those who are wealthy. Rosauras mother feels lower than Luceanas family. She feels that a persons financial status determines whom a person can associate with. The author eventually reveals that Rosauras mother is a maid. Because her job does not pay very high wages she feels inferior to Lucianas family. Her feelings of hostility toward the wealthy might come from years of prejudice. Rosauras mother constantly feels bound by her financial situation. Rosauras mother does not want her daughter going to the party because she is the daughter of humble maid. She feels that her daughter will not be looked upon as an equal, no matter what. Rosauras mother states, That ones not your friend. You know what you are to them? The maids daughter, thats what. But no matter how strongly Rosauras mother feels about this, she is willing to let her daughter go to the party. This demonstrates the unconditional love she has for her daughter.
There are some characters in this story that are not developed as well as Rosaura and her mother. One of these characters is Luciana. Luciana is very similar to Rosaura in that she sees everyone as an equal. She does not consider Rosaura to be different from any of her other friends. She never considers Rosauras financial situation to be important. She treats Rosaura like all of her other friends.
Another character, which is not covered in depth, is Lucianas cousin. She is brought into this story through an argument with Rosaura. Lucianas cousin doesnt know Rosaura but she feels inclined to start an argument with her anyway. Lucianas cousin begins to question Rosaura. She questions the fact that Rosaura is a friend of Luciana. Lucianas cousin seems to think that she is better than Rosaura. This shows the reader the first clues that Rosauras mother could have been right about wealthy people not accepting Rosaura.
Another character that is only introduced briefly is the magician. The author does not get into his personality or values but it is made clear that he sees all of the children as equal.
The last character that is introduced is Senora Ines. Once again the author does not develop her in depth. The author places her in the story in order to demonstrate the prejudice, which Rosauras mother had described. Senora Ines offers Rosaura money at the end of the party rather than a small gift. This demonstrates to Rosaura that she is, in fact, looked upon as being different from the other children.
Each character in this story demonstrates an aspect of society today. Rosaura signifies the unsuspecting poor child. She represents the fact that a person usually does not develop stereotypes until they have experienced many of the aspects of life. Rosauras mother is placed in the story to illustrate another fact about todays society. Rosauras mother demonstrates that society influences the way a person thinks. She shows that from years of experience she has developed a pattern of stereotyping wealthy people. Luciana represents the wealthy part of society that does not see less fortunate people as being different. She, like Rosaura, does not stereotype people because of their financial worth. Lucianas cousin, on the other hand, demonstrates that part of the wealthy population that feels superior to the financially challenged. The magician in this story represents someone like a priest or a charity worker. He sees all of the kids at the party as equals. He is willing to let any of them participate in his magic. Senora Ines plays the part of society that feels obligated to offer charity to those who are less fortunate.
The author not only writes a very interesting story but also provides an important message regarding society. People are too concerned with money in todays society. If we could all remain innocent (such as Rosaura and Luciana) and never become prejudice towards others the world would be a better place. Everyone would be judged according to who they are and not by what they posses.
Inequalities in the Social Class Structure in The Stolen Party, a Short Story by Liliana Heker
The Stolen Party; Stolen Meaning
“The Stolen Party” is, unfortunately, a story without a happy ending. Much like works such as The Great Gatsby or 1984, the lack of any definitive victory for the protagonist helps to drive home the point. The title of the story is only truly important after reading the last three paragraphs, in which Rosaura is paid for simply being a waiter at the party, and is given neither a gift nor the recognition of being Luciana’s friend. She is simply another maid for Senora Ines- and that is all that invitation was for. She may have had the time of her life at that party; been made a countess, seen the monkey, had the attention of every boy and girl when she got to hand out the cake- but in the end, it was as though none of that mattered, because her true image in the eyes of Senora Ines had destroyed everything joyful that party had built up within her. The party, in this context, had been stolen from Rosaura by the ignorance of Senora Ines.
The behavior of Senora Ines is an excellent example of someone restricted to a perspective that only views people by class. Being in the uppermost class, she can only see Rosaura for what she is in the most general of terms, a poor young daughter of a maid. Rosaura is more than this, and reading from her perspective we understand that- but in a very socially stratified society such as this, what you are born into is something you simply cannot escape. The lower class can, in some manner of speaking, coexist with the upper class. Though, by Senora Ines actions, we can deduce that in the end it can be two wildly different incentives for such a society to function as such.
At the party, Rosaura is practically interrogated by Luciana’s friends, being asked how she could possibly know Luciana and just what exactly her mother does, and only shown respect when she either holds the cake or when her pseudo-employer Senora Ines is using her for more menial labor (which Rosaura mistakes for friendly assistance and rewards for good behavior). So, within this society, the poor are only respected when there is a gain for the upper class- something not uncommon in social stratification. Essentially, the rich do what they must to remain rich, and the poor continuously struggle to either just get by or to somehow beat the odds and pull ahead. Rosaura does a little of both, unwittingly serves the rich in staying satisfied, and desperately dreams of becoming what she is currently serving cake to. Her mother is a hardened, angry woman- and as the story progresses it becomes more and more clear why that is.
Social class structure is the key point to this piece, the theme of which being that you will always be what you started as. It’s driven in by Senora Ines’ behavior at the party, the tasks Rosaura performs, the crushing truth in the final three paragraphs, all of it. The story through and through is one in which a lower class girl strives to be accepted in the eyes of the upper class, but just when she thinks that is what she has earned, it is made clear that all she is to them is the daughter of a maid, born to pursue her mother’s footsteps. This event may have changed Rosarua, forever distorting her perception of both her class and Luciana’s class. She could go on believing that Luciana is her friend, she could even still want to be someone better than her mother, but she could also be skewed by Senora Ines’ treatment- forever resenting the upper class and viewing her station in the social ladder as a permanent status. She may end up trying less hard in school, not searching hard enough for a job, or may choose to live by her mother’s side for as long as she can- because now it would seem her mother was right, you can’t trust the rich. Inversely, though, this could have a positive effect. There are those who see their circumstances as too much to endure when they see there’s something better, and sometimes those people chase that better life. Rosaura could be one of those people who escapes the poverty stricken class she comes from, and could eventually find herself accepted at these kinds of events, perhaps in a future where her past is obscured by her success.
The inequality of this society’s (and really all societies) social class system is deeply rooted in the basis of human behavior. There’s a natural drive for people to take advantage of one another if it keeps them on top, and there’s always a need to be better than what you started with. This point is expressed by a certain balance described in the final sentence: “As if the slightest change might shatter an indefinitely delicate balance.” This quote is almost disturbing in how true it is. The balance here, is an equilibrium maintained by keeping the lower class where they are. After all, were it not for the extortion of lower classes and the excessive tokens given to those better off, families like Luciana’s probably would not be where they are in the story. Since Rosaura’s mother was a servant, it was as though Senora Ines couldn’t see her as anything but a servant. She actually goes as far as to call her “my pet”, just demeaning her to the point that she might as well have called her “help” throughout the affair. Conflict theory might be the best way to explain this behavior- the perspective through which the elite manipulate the poor and weak.
Through this sociological perspective, it can be inferred there is some sort of esoteric knowledge amongst the upper class in this story’s society: the underclass are tools. Rosaura hasn’t seen enough of the world to understand this, which is why she adamantly refuses to accept it from her mother and violently reacts to the first child who treats her like a secondhand tool of the household. It’s a foreign concept to her that she could be treated that way, and she doesn’t even realize the magnitude of her treatment until the very last straw, when Senora Ines shatters the illusory glass of this poor young child. Rosaura had established an alternate explanation for how she was treated all through the day, because in her own mind she wanted to see that her mother was wrong- that she could escape the stigma of being poor. The child she kicked in the shins was, in Rosaura’s mind, just a mean person. This is why the monkey was the first focal point of the story, why she was so proud to tell her mother she had been called a countess. It’s also why her mother flinched and hesitated when Rosaura was to be given something. Her mother grew up likely the same way as Rosaura herself did, with dashed hopes of escaping a label that distinguishes one so far from others. When Senora Ines displayed her true nature and her honest view of Rosaura, she did it without any remorse. She acted as though her usage of a child who simply wanted to fit in and have friends was to be expected when dealing with her class- after all, she’s the daughter of a maid, and treating her like she’s anything better than that would break the delicate balance that holds a society like this together. It’s delicate in the sense that some people like Rosaura go their entire lives believing they can escape poverty, only to die without understanding they never truly progressed in the eyes of the elite, and that they only served to perpetuate a society that stacks the odds in the favor of those who cheat.