In "The Stolen Party" by Liliana Heker, what do you think the author means by the phrase "an infinitely delicate balance" in the last sentence?  

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The infinitely delicate balance at that moment is the balance between Rosaura's persona at the party and the fact that she's the daughter of the housekeeper.

When Señora Ines holds out the money to Rosaura, she's reminding her that she isn't like the other children; she's the child of a...

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The infinitely delicate balance at that moment is the balance between Rosaura's persona at the party and the fact that she's the daughter of the housekeeper.

When Señora Ines holds out the money to Rosaura, she's reminding her that she isn't like the other children; she's the child of a servant. She wasn't at the party as a guest but rather as someone who helped with the domestic chores. She served the cake and carried food from the kitchen.

The children that were there as guests were given gifts as they left. The boys got yo-yos and the girls got bracelets. Rosaura almost expects to get one of each because she was so helpful and charming. However, she's given money instead and thanked for her help. When she becomes aware of the difference between her expectations and her reality, she feels the shock throughout her body. Surely part of Rosaura wants to rage, but Senora Ines remains motionless, waiting for Rosaura or her mother to accept the money and their place. She knows that if she moves or acts differently, it might upset the balance between their social places.

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The meaning of "an infinitely delicate balance" in the context of this story can be deciphered from Senora Ines's overall behavior and disposition. As a wealthy woman, Senora Ines can provide a fabulous, ornate party for her little one. She can afford the finer things and wants a pleasant and joyful atmosphere to accompany them. She wants to feel both materially and socially wealthy. However, her wealth and status depend upon the fact that there are those who are poor and have less than her, like Rosaura and her mother. Senora Ines wants to be better and have more than others but to give the appearance of kindness and fairness. Herein lies the "delicate balance" to which the author refers.

Senora Ines "didn't dare" draw her hand back from offering Rosaura money. This is because while Senora Ines wants to seem generous and kind by letting Rosaura be treated as the other children at the party, she wants to instill in Rosaura a sense of her place. By offering her money, Senora Ines makes it clear Rosaura is not the same as Luciana or any of the other wealthy children—she is of the "employee" class and always will be. This concept of socio-economic class division is essential to Senora Ines's way of life, and her gesture at the end of the stories solidifies it for Rosaura.

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In "The Stolen Party", by Liliana Heker, the story closes referring to "an infinitely delicate balance."

The character, Rosaura, is caught off guard when the party's hostess, Sefiora Ines offers her money. With her hand extended, thinking that she is about to receive a yo-yo and bracelet, Rosaura presses against her mother when offered money. Rosaura, a cold look bearing down on Ines, freezes.

Ines, aware that she has crossed a line, knows not what to do. She, as frozen as Rosaura, is afraid to move. She is fearful that she moves, she will "shatter an infinitely delicate balance."

What is meant here is that, to this point, Rosaura has not looked at herself as the child of a cleaning-woman. Instead, the societal class lines for her were not distinguished yet. It is not until Ines offers her the money that she realizes she is not, and will never be, of her class. Rosaura's identity is in jeopardy of being shattered, just like the delicate balance between the tow standing together.

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