Hecker’s protagonist, Rosaura evokes empathy among readers. Certainly, the circumstances of her life and the situation around which the story revolves may be alien to the reader but by expressing Rosaura’s simplest dreams and pleasures, Hecker incites identification with her. The daughter of a maid who, despite her mother’s constant efforts to remind her of the limitations of her socio-economic status, looks upon those around her with simple innocence, Rosaura’s acceptance of others leads her to assume their reciprocal acceptance of her. From the outset of the party, however, not to mention the events which followed, it was evident that there was no such acceptance. The little girl with the bow, Luciana’s cousin, refuses to believe Rosaura’s claims of friendship with her cousin and throughout much of the party, she is treated as a helper, not s an invited guest. The fact that she does not see this bit, instead, takes pride in being treated that way, believing it a testament to the closeness of her relationship with the family, Rosaura’s innocence evokes our empathy because, suddenly, her experiences become ours and her naivety or gullibility become ours. Readers do not just sympathize with Rosaura but they empathize with her, feel her excitement throughout the party and, eventually feel her hurt and humiliation.
Ironically, even as readers empathize with Rosaura, they sympathize with the story’s supposed protagonist, Senora Inés. Possibly, this is largely die to the fact that Senora Inés meant no harm and indeed, definitely did not intend to hurt Rosaura. Certainly, she did not treat her as an invited guest and singled her out throughout much of the party but she did not do so out of malice but under her assumption that this was the norm – after all Rosaura was the maid’s daughter. At the end of the