Summary: “The Stolen Party” by Liliana Heker starts with Rosaura arguing with her mother. She wants to go to her friend, Luciana’s birthday party, however, her mother does not want her to. The mother believes that the rich do not like the poor. Though, in the morning she discovers her mom fixing up her Christmas dress to wear to the party. Once Rosaura arrived at the party she quickly goes to find the monkey that Luciana was talking about. She was also the only one allowed in the kitchen and even made food and carried it out. Later Rosaura meets Luciana’s cousin, who claims that Rosaura couldn’t be one of Luciana’s friends because she knew all of them. Rosaura says that she is the daughter of an employee; this is what her mother tells her to say. Senora Ines comes and asks for Rosaura’s help, which prompts her to say, “See?” and kick the cousin in the shin. Despite this Rosaura had a lot of fun with Luciana and the boys. She passed out cake to everyone, this made her feel like a queen in a story she read. The queen had power over her subjects’ life. Then the magician came and preformed, when a boy did not want to hold the monkey, he called up Rosaura. She was very proud of herself and told her mother about it at the end of the party. Senora Ines came to them and gave Rosaura money instead of a toy.
One thing I find very interesting about this story is how the mother seems to know what is going to happen. She tries to convince Rosaura not to go:
“I don’t like you going,” she told her. “It’s a rich people’s party.”
However, in the end she allows Rosaura to go. The mother is making this choice to allow her daughter to face this social norm and “learn it the hard way.” The idea that the mother is ultimately the reason Rosaura has this life changing event is something that is common but doesn’t seem to be thought about often. This is something that could easily happen to anyone here. One person can control a life changing you have. Mind blown.
I also looked at how Rosaura seems so much better than everyone else. In the beginning Rosaura shows off better morals than even her mother; normally you find the mother to be wiser than the daughter.
“Rich people go to Heaven too,” said the girl, who studied religion at school.
“Get away with Heaven,” said the mother.
And throughout the party Luciana is rarely talked about and Rosaura is shown as the center of attention. She does everything right and things go her way. The perfect topper being able to hold the monkey and then being complimented by the magician.
And before Rosaura returned to her seat, the magician said, “Thank you very much, my little countess.”
At the end Rosaura tells her mother all about the experience. Sadly, Senora Ines comes and pushes her back down to her poor level by giving her money. Her pride and perfection is easily taken away by a small act. I like the plot twist, a big contradiction between the end and the rest of the story. “The First Day” has similar themes of simple things completely changing the main character’s view. This is especially surprising because throughout this all Rosaura has such a high regard for the rich and powerful.
Rosaura too wanted to be rich, of course.
In my own work I would like to use both of these tactics, having one person controlling the protagonist’s fate and a contradiction between the end and the rest of the piece. I would like to use an unlikely person to change this person’s fate. The contradiction I would like to be something that is unexpected and will change the person as well as their views.
- Do you think it was a wise choice for the mother to reveal this social difference? Why or why not?
- Do you think that Luciana thinks of Rosaura as a friend?
- Will Rosaura continue to aspire to be rich?