Sarah Canary Essay, Research Paper
Lilian Heker s The Stolen Party is about a nine-year-old girl named Rosaura who goes to a rich girl s party. This takes place at a rich girl s house where her mother works as a maid. Rosaura thinks she is Luciana s 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 don t 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 doesn t 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 Luciana s 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 Heker s 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 Luciana s 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 didn t belong was true.
Ah yes, your friend, her mother grumbled. She
paused. Listen, Rosaura, she said at last.
That one s not your friend. You know what you are
to them? The maid s daughter, that s 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.
Heker, Lilian The Stolen Party. Literature for Composition
4th ed. Ed Sylvan Barnet et al. New York: HarperCollins, 1996 613-616