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We live in a world where how much you earn will determine your place in society. The short story “The Stolen Party” by Liliana Heker gives a perfect example of this important issue. The main theme in this story is classism. More specifically, classism is very ingrained in society and it is difficult to eradicate. Classism refers to when people are treated differently because of their perceived class. This is important in today’s society because in some ways classism is comparable to the behaviours and attitudes expressing sexism and racism towards someone which are all still relevant to this day. This is either by excluding a person in the lower class out of everything, making them feel they have no power or voice, or either by stereotyping them.
One generalization and stereotype about poor people is that they are lazy. Individuals who belong to the lowest parts of society and class are seen as deviants who refuse to work hard and climb out from the bottom of the pyramid. Yet these individuals are the ones who usually work the hardest but are looked down upon for being in that lower class. In the short story, this is surely nothing but untrue as Rosaura works hard for Luciana’s birthday party. This thinking is similar to other forms of bias and oppression that have long existed and are hard to eradicate.
Moreover, people who are less fortunate feel as though they have no power or at least that’s what people in the higher class make them think. By handing Rosaura the dollar bill, Senora Ines made her think that she was less than and made it clear that she was nothing but a servant. People who are higher class often have prejudice or discriminate against those who are less fortunate even without saying a word. By making the less fortunate feel inferior, this makes the wealthy think they have more control and power over them. Classism allows for preconceived notions that an individual in the upper class is more intelligent and eloquent than someone in the lower class. This allows them to believe that they can dictate those who are poor and judge them whether which behaviours are acceptable.
Lastly, those on the higher end of the class ladder often exclude lower class individuals out of everything. They do this as though they feel the poor are not the same type of people as them. In the story, Luciana’s cousin did not like Rosaura associating with them and the other kids just because she was the daughter of the employee. Often, the rich do not like to associate or even acknowledge the less fortunate for the reason of wanting to strengthen the dominant class group. Even though their beliefs and ideas are the same, the wealthy would think less of individuals who are less fortunate to create separation and distinguish the two creating the categories of poor and rich.
Throughout history, people have often looked at the ranks of individuals based on their economic status, level of education, family lineage, and job status. Classism remains an important issue and a big problem within the society that needs to be eradicated. Social class is not easy to overcome since everyone is forced to look define the stereotypes of society. We see classism in everyday life whether it comes to school, in the workplace, or in the media. We can step forth and resolve the problem however only by realizing the problem and attempt to solve it before it is too late and have a huge impact on future generations.
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