Symbolism in “The Stolen Party”

Symbolism refers to a literary technique that uses symbols (words, pictures, marks, locations or abstract ideas) to communicate something other than its literal meaning. Authors have always preferred symbols to a variety of literary devices. These are some outstanding examples of symbolism used throughout history:

A Historical Perspective

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The earliest known forms of human storytelling, cave paintings and hieroglyphics, are symbols that represent more complex narratives or beliefs.

Ancient Greek theater, which forms the basis of much of the narrative artforms of today, used symbolic props such as phallic objects to depict Dionysus, the god fertility. Symbolism was still widely used in the Middle Ages, almost always with religious connotations, but it returned to full force in the Renaissance to represent human desires, from lust to ambition and heartbreak.

William Shakespeare used symbols as a way to express inner conscience (think about blood in Macbeth); Edgar Allen Poe used them to communicate dread and death (think about the eponymous bird from “The Raven”)); and William Blake used religious symbol (including Jesus) to symbolize human emotion and desire (as seen in “The Everlasting Gospel”).

The Stolen Party Symbolism

Liliana Heker uses symbolism extensively in “The Stolen Party”. It is fascinating to see the brilliance Liliana’s use symbolism brings to the story. Let’s look at different aspects of symbolism within the story.

  • Money and Gifts

Divided by Invisible Walls Humankind is divided by invisibility walls. Humankind has been divided by invisibility walls since its beginnings. Rosaura insists that she attend Luciana’s party. However, Luciana’s mother disagrees and tells Rosaura that Rosaura is nothing but a maid’s daughter to Luciana. Rosaura is able to make it work and she goes to the party hoping to see a monkey perform and to meet her friend. Rosaura is a great helper to Senor Ines, Luciana’s mother, throughout the party. She was proud of all the assistance she provided by the end. The gift she gave at the end was different than the others, symbolizing our undeniable differences.

  • The Monkey, and Rosaura

The monkey at Luciana’s party is a key symbol throughout the story. Rosaura first mentions the monkey when she asks her mother whether she can go to the party and mentions the monkey as one the attractions. Her mother laughs at her and tells her to “get away …, believing all the nonsense she is being told” (Heker 1). At first, the monkey symbolizes her innocence. Because she believes everything her mom says, her mom laughs at her. Senor Ines’ actions are hurtful because she is too young to have experienced it. Rosaura feels greatly hurt by Senor Ines’ gesture of giving her money to help at the party. She thought she was a guest and not a hired worker. Rosaura is further represented by the monkey because of how it is treated. Rosaura’s relationship to Senor Ines mirrors the monkey’s with the magician. Rosaura explained that the magician called the monkey “partner” while they performed. However, they clearly are not equals because the magician kept him in a cage and brought him out only for his own pleasure (Heker3). Similar to Luciana, Senor Ines only allows Rosaura to join the party to assist her. When Senor Ines thanks Rosaura for her help, he calls Rosaura “[her] pet” (Heker 5). As a symbol, the monkey is a reminder of how social classes can create barriers between people and affect how they treat one another.

Nobody can know what others think about them. The Stolen Party’s Rosaura, played by Liliana Hecker, is clueless about what is going on. Rosaura thought she was going on a party but she was actually serving food to guests. Liliana Hecker uses symbolism to illustrate Rosaura’s treatment as a maid in this piece of writing. Liliana uses symbolism in order to draw a comparison between Rosaura and the Magician’s monkey. Rosaura is a clueless monkey who likes to help Rosaura. It is believed that emotion is used as a driving force in the story. The emotion is only felt in the beginning and it is not present throughout the story. To show how the story loops back to Rosaura’s mother from the beginning, the author uses full circle. It revealed that Rosaura didn’t know what would happen if her mother went to the party.

Liliana Hecker uses symbolism in order to contrast Rosaura and the monkey. Senora Ines asks Rosaura if she is able to help around the house. Rosaura doesn’t know what to do. The monkey is also clueless, as it only sits in a cage. Liliana demonstrates this by linking Rosaura to the Magician’s monkey. Both are unaware of what is happening to their bodies and how it affects them. This story is short and emotional only once. This piece doesn’t have the strongest emotion because it’s not driven by emotion. Full circle is the main piece of puzzle, although it appears only twice. This is the most surprising part of the story, as it doesn’t make it easy to find the evidence and is quite shocking at the end. The Stolen Party uses a lot of author’s craft and is written very well. This story comes together in the end like an amazing.

  • Senora Ines and The Magician

The magician is used throughout the story as a symbol. Senora Ines was the one who portrayed him. Senora Ines is the magician. She manipulates Rosaura to do whatever she wants. This brings me to my next point. Rosaura is the monkey, because she allows herself to be controlled without thinking about it. Rosaura wants to be part of the party, just as the monkey does. They only care about it. They have one goal. The magician and Senora Ines are aware of this, and they capitalize on it.

  • Relationships with friends

To represent the reality that friendships and relationships are not real, great symbolism was used. The story uses symbolism to show that people’s perceptions are often false. The author uses symbolism to portray the real relationships between characters throughout the story. Rosaura struggles to figure out who she is and what her friends are. Rosaura believes they are friends because Luciana does her homework every day. Many people have had a fake friendship. Some people have only loyal friends while others don’t need friends. There are many people on this planet who have never had a friend that is just your friend for their good. Rosaura’s mom probably went through similar experiences as Rosaura. Rosaura’s mother is very aware of what she is saying when she tells Rosaura about her true role at the party. Fake friends are almost inevitable.

The party was full of many memorable events, which made Rosaura question her friendship with Luciana. Rosaura talks to Luciana’s cousin and says that she knows all Luciana’s friends, but Rosaura isn’t one of them. A cousin is someone in your family who can tell you a lot about yourself. Luciana knows a lot more about Rosaura than her friends. Rosaura leaves the party and is filled with suspense as Luciana takes her to pick up her “special party favor”. Luciana instead gives Rosaura money. Rosaura discovers that Luciana is a fraud when she is given money to “help out”. Luciana has Rosaura at the party, but Rosaura does her homework alone. Different people can relate to different things. Some people cannot relate to the bad friend, which causes them to see things from a different perspective. Rosaura is there to help Luciana. Rosaura couldn’t see this for some reason. Fake friends will always come along in a real world.

Why Study Symbolism?

Students who are unable or unwilling to read beyond the words of the page are in a disadvantage. This can lead to a loss of understanding and a lack of connection to the text. Students who can’t interpret symbolism in order to make predictions, understand the purpose of the author, or comprehend fiction writing’s characterizations will have difficulty understanding. Symbolism in literature is used to create an impact. It attaches additional meaning to actions, objects, and names. Symbolism is the addition of meaning to concrete objects. Symbolism, in other words, allows writers to communicate something to their readers in a poetic manner rather than simply saying it. Authors can create complexity and nuance with this indirect approach. Authors must ensure that the context supports the symbol’s meaning.

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