"The Stolen Party" and Other Stories

"The Stolen Party" and Other Stories Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Money (Symbol)

The money Señora Ines offers Rosaura at the end of the story symbolizes Ines's need to entrench the power dynamic between herself and the working class by treating Rosaura as an employee. Rosaura hopes that Ines will reward her helpful behavior with parting gifts like the ones the other children receive, but the offer of money and no gift confirms Rosaura's suspicion that Rosaura would be treated differently than the other children because her family is not wealthy. Despite Rosaura and her mother making no move to take the money, the story ends with Ines continuing to hold the money out, implicitly insisting that the power dynamic between them remain unchanged.

Monkey (Symbol)

The magician's monkey, who sits caged in a kitchen until he is needed to perform, symbolizes Rosaura's ignorance of why she was invited to the party. While the monkey may seem whimsical to Rosaura, she does not understand that the monkey is there to serve as the magician’s property and laborer. The dynamic between the magician and the monkey mirrors Rosaura’s own presence at the party. Although Rosaura thinks of herself as a regular or perhaps a particularly special guest, Señora Ines treats Rosaura as a servant. As is the monkey, Rosaura is exploited for her innocence.

Señora Ines Commends Rosaura (Motif)

Throughout the party, Señora Ines seeks Rosaura's help in serving drinks and food to the other children. Ines makes sure always to flatter Rosaura and make her feel special by commending her for her ability to carry a jug of juice without spilling a drop, or for having a knowledge of the house and kitchen that the other children do not. The motif of these compliments continues until the end of the story, when Ines tells Hermina that she has a truly marvelous daughter. Rosaura understands the repeated positive treatment as evidence of her merit. However, the compliments simultaneously obscure how Ines expects Rosaura, because of her family's working-class social position, to act as a servant and helper at the party.