C -45 Book Review — Stolen party by Liliana Hecker

Discrimination has been prominent in our society since time immemorial. Despite the innumerable attempts to eradicate this phenomenon using legal mechanisms w still haven’t been able to wipe out it’s traces from the minds of people. Since the day we are born, society clips our wings and chains us to the social and economical class that our ancestors belonged to.

In the story, ‘The stolen party’, Rosaura was as old as Luciana and her friends. Yet, because her mother was an employee at Luciana’s house, everyone’s outlook towards Rosaura was slightly different. Rosaura was the star of the party indeed! Out of all the people at the party, it was Rosaura who got the chance to carry the jug of orange juice, serve the hot-dogs and pass the cake. She received this special treatment as the others were butterfingers, and she was the most well-behaved child at the party.

Alas, it is only the end of the text that makes one realise that there is a thin, but prominent, line between treating someone ‘especially, and treating someone ‘differently’. The innocence of Rasaura blinded her from seeing this line. She wasn’t like the other guests invited to the party. The other children were Luciana’s friends, as they belonged to the same social class as hers. Rosaura, on the other hand, was the ‘employees’ daughter. And she was made aware about this fact throughout the party, in subtle different ways. The most prominent being, receiving two bills instead of a return gift, unlike the others the party.

Señora Ines’ decision to give Rosaura money instead of a return gift is suite debatable in itself. On one hand, it was an act of discrimination. On the other, it was a practical move to aid their family with money, which is more useful to them, than a mere gift. The money could have, in some way, contributed in bettering the economic conditions of Rasaura’s family. This leads to a more pertained question, which is, “Can discrimination on the basis of economical standard, ever be justified?” Capitalists would argue, that discrimination in this case would push the lower strata to strive further and thus raise above the poverty line.

But today’s capitalism is making the rich men richer, and poor people poorer. This gap adversely affects the psychology of the lower strata, as the feelings of inferiority start seeping into their psyche. A person’s identity is way more than the shillings in his pockets. Discrimination, thus, in my opinion, is an unjustifiable sin which creates a vicious never-ending cycle for the downtrodden. In the text as well, on this particular occasion, Señora Ines should have treated all the invitees alike and would have found a better opportunity later to help Rosaura’s family financially. Her act of giving the two bills tied Rasaura in the cycle of servitude, creating a sense of hierarchy, which should not exist between friends.

As said by Gandhi, “The only difference between man and man all the world over is one of degree, and not of kind, even as there is between trees of the same species. Where in is the cause for anger, envy or discrimination?” Thus, discrimination is an act against the laws of nature as well as, basic human rights. Changing the legal framework of a state isn’t enough, it is the mentality prevailing in the people that makes the big difference.

A budding storyteller, exploring the ‘me’ in Media!