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English 1101: Titles That Draw You In

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Valencia Stringer

Professor Easton

English 1101

14 October 2014

Titles That Draw You In

So are titles really important? Yes indeed! Titles of a book can either put a smile on your face and have you wanting more, or a puzzled look and have you running out the door. The reader will agree after reading  Liliana Heker's,"The Stolen Party" and Dorothy Allison's," River of Names" that one will be wanting more.  The reader will concur the titles fit for the author's purpose of their writings. The titles give the reader just an inkling of what the story will entail, but the reader has no idea there is something so much more to the title than just the name.

In "The Stolen Party," Heker illustrates some differences between the upper and lower classes. There is a maid that has a nine year old daughter, Rosaura. Rosaura has been invited to the home of the wealthy employer her mom works for, to attend a birthday party. The mom knows due their lower social class, they will never be accepted as a "guest" in a upper class party stating,"I don’t like you going....It’s a rich people's party" (149). Rosaura is not bothered by the differences of the social classes. She feels she and the birthday girl, Luciana, are friends and was determined to prove this to her mother arguing, "I'm going because I've been invited...I've been invited because Luciana is my friend. So there" (149).  The mom knows the unlikelihood of a friendship between the rich and the poor and tries to convince Rosaura that she and the birthday girl are not friends (149). "Ah yes, your friend....Listen, Rosaura....That one's not your friend. You know what you are to them? The maid's daughter, that's what" (149)The mom tries to point out the differences of social classes, but Rosaura has her mind made up and still wants to be a guest at the party.

She attends the party in which only upper class children are present. It is not until Luciana's cousin questions how she knows the birthday girl, that Rosaura starts to question her own social class. She recites the line, "I'm the daughter of the employee" (150).This is a face saver but still a revealing statement that had been placed in her head. She is then asked to help serve hot dogs to the guest by Luciana's mom. At the end of the party she is offered money instead of a yo-yo or bracelet like the other children, leaving Rosaura hurt and confused.  This brings her class position to light.

The title " The Stolen Party" signifies something was definitely stolen from the party. In Rosaura's case she was hurt, pained, saddened and shocked, leaving her innocence stolen. She loses her naivety when she realizes she is nothing more than the employee's daughter. She finds out her position at the party was not to arrive as a guest nor friend but instead as a server, her concept of the party and of friendship, both were stolen.

In Allison's "River of Names," the narrator flashes back and forth between her childhood and the present. She is now in a lesbian relationship, in which her lover had a fairy tale middle class childhood, opposite of hers (164). The narrator lies about her past to her lover acknowledging,"I lie to her the way I always do, a lie stolen from a book" (164).  



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