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"Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros

The irony of life is that as you grow older you want to experience your youth again, while at the time you are young all you want is to be older. In "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros, Rachel is only eleven years old, yet she would rather be one hundred and two. She feels that the old age will give her the respect and wisdom to be able to stand up for herself. Through the use of point of view and diction, Cisneros develops Rachel's character and shows that despite her youth, Rachel is capable of feeling and expressing ideas and emotions universal to all ages.

Rachel is a round character who has learned a lot about growing up from the experience she has had on her eleventh birthday. She retells her story in the first-person point of view, letting the reader witness firsthand Rachel's predicament. By having Rachel recount her birthday rather than a narrator tell the story in the third-person point of view, the reader gets to witness everything Rachel feels during the course of her day. We are able to see Rachel's thoughts as she ponders why when you turn eleven, you do not feel eleven, but rather all the previous years together "like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box." The embarrassment Rachel feels is made apparent through the use of point of view, when her teacher makes her take the lost sweater in front of the whole class. Even if the ugly sweater with red plastic buttons and a stretched out collar and sleeves were hers, she would not admit it since "it was maybe a thousand years old," Rachel informs the reader. The teacher puts the sweater on Rachel's desk, insisting that it belongs to Rachel; despite Rachel's objections, the teacher makes her put the sweater on. Rachel tells the reader then that she wishes she were one hundred and two. If she were that age rather than eleven, then she would have known exactly what to say and would not have ended up crying in front of the class. If she were older, Mrs. Price would listen to her denials and ...

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"Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 03:31, September 01, 2014, from http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/9189.html