The Stolen Party
In "The Stolen Party" by Liliana Heker, of what importance is the monkey?
The story is about a young girl named Rosaura who has been invited to the party of a wealthy classmate. Her mother does not want her to go because she will not fit in at a rich person’s party. Rosaura tells her mother “rich people go to Heaven too.” Her mother thinks she will just be seen as the maid’s daughter, because her mother used to clean the house.
Rosaura is excited because there will be a magician with a monkey at the party. Her mother scoffs at the idea, not believing her. But she starches Rosaura’s Christmas dress and helps her do her hair with apple cider to make it shiny. When she gets to the party she asks about the monkey and sees it in her cage. The she is asked to bring a jug of juice into the party.
Rosaura is accosted by a girl with a bow who demands to know who she is. Rosaura says she is Luciana’s friend and the girl tells her she is Luciana’s cousin and she knows all of her friends. Her mother has told her to answer that she is the daughter of the employee if anyone asks who she is. The girl with the bow responds with dirisive confusion, and then The housekeeper Sefiora Ines interrupts and asks Rosaura to serve hot dogs.
Rosaura enjoys the party, winning at the games. Rosaura loves passing out the cake slices because she gives the girl with the bow the smallest one. Rosaura even assists the magician.
At the end of the party, Rosaura does not get a present like the other children. She gets paid.
Sefiora Ines didn't look in the pink bag. Nor did she look in the blue bag. Instead she rummaged in her purse. In her hand appeared two bills.
"You really and truly earned this," she said handing them over. "Thank you for all your help, my pet."
Rosaura is horrified. She didn’t realize that she wasn’t at the party as a guest. She was the hired help. She finally understands social class.
In the story “Stolen Party” the monkey represents the unattainable upper class. Rosaura’s mother tells her that if she believes in the monkey, she’ll believe anything. Symbolically, her mother is telling her that it isn’t really possible to go up in class, or be equal with the upper class.
When Rosaura arrives, she asks about the monkey. She is told that the monkey is a secret and taken to the kitchen. Once again, the monkey symbolizes the unattainable goal. It is not a conincidence that the monkey is in the kitchen. Rosaura thinks she is going to the party, when in reality she is not there as a guest. She is there to work.