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Eleven by Sandra Cisneros

"Eleven" written by Sandra Cisneros is about the narrator who is eleven years old. Literature courses often require the work of Sandra Cisneros to be studied and Eleven is an example of one of her most poignant works.

The narrator, Rachel, begins the story by explaining that she didn't wake up on her eleventh birthday feeling older. She felt the same as the day before when she was still ten years old. According to Rachel, when she turned eleven she is still all the ages that preceded eleven. To convey this, Cisneros uses a variety of literary devises in "Eleven." The story includes the following:

  1. Dialogue
  2. Symbolism
  3. Point of view

Some days Rachel feels eleven and then something happens like she is scared she needs to cry and when she finds solace with her mother she feels like a child again. Rachel uses a few metaphors to explain what it is like to age. She compares aging to the layers of an onion or the rings in a tree. The years all build on top of each other so even when she turned eleven she was still ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one years old.

Rachel says she wishes that she was over a hundred years old so that she could avoid an embarrassing situation that happened to her on her eleventh birthday. The teacher puts an ugly red sweater on their desk and says that it belongs to Rachel. Rachel is unable to respond and becomes embarrassed about the situation. Rachel feels like she being one hundred would make her more confident and able to explain to her teacher that the sweater does not belong to her.

Rachel communicates the feelings that are appropriate for someone of her age. She doesn't always understand her emotions, which is also typical of a child who is around eleven years old.

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