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.
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