The Story Eleven by Sandra Cisneros; Analysis of the Story

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The Story Eleven By Sandra Cisneros; Analysis Of The Story

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No matter how old you get, you will always have moments in your life of insecurity and the feeling of being a child. The story, “Eleven”,by Sandra Cisneros, explains to the reader how on a day that is delightful for most, Rachel fights through her age and maturity to be understood, but she fails. This story is about a bad experience Rachel had on her eleventh birthday. It’s ruined when her teacher forces her to take responsibility for an ugly sweater that isn't hers. Unable to cope with the injustice, she bursts into tears in front of her classmates, and wishes she were older. The story, “Eleven” is a powerful story in terms of plot because it has a strong character development in the exposition, a strong description in the rising action, and an emotional but also relatable outcome in the resolution.

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“Eleven” has a strong character development in the exposition. The exposition tells the readers all about Rachel and her relationship with her teacher and classmates. The readers were introduced to the mean school teacher, Mrs. Price. The readers know she was rude because in the story, Cisneros states a rude comment by Mrs. Price, “ Of course it's yours” , then she ignores Rachel as she tried to explain how it wasn’t her sweater. The mood of the story was very suspenseful and left an anxious feeling for Rachel but also the readers. The readers felt afraid that Rachel was going to fall apart. The author built up the reader’s stress and had them on the edge of their seats.

Secondly, there is a strong description in the rising action. The author really gives the readers detail and really made us feel the emotions Rachel was facing. The author slowly hinted how Rachel was about to break down. And let all her emotions out. Cisneros stated, “I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I’m feeling sick inside, like the part of me that’s there wants me to come out of my eyes, only i squeeze them shut tight and bite down on my teeth real hard and try to remember today i am eleven, eleven . When Rachel said this, the author indicated that Rachel felt very jittery about the sticky situation and hesitated to let her emotions out.

Finally, in “Eleven”, there is an emotional but also relatable outcome in the resolution. Even though the story kinda ends catastrophically, it still has a very relatable ending. Before the initial ending another character in the story, Phyllis Lopez, confessed that the erratic red sweater was actually hers. Rachel immediately gave the horrid sweater back to its owner. Rachel soon admitted that her special birthday had been ruined by the anxious filled day. She believed it was too late to have a “happy birthday,” and would be able to remember her crying in front of her entire class on her eleventh birthday. Cisneros expresses Rachel’s feelings and stated , “I wish I was anything but Eleven, because I want today to be far away already, far away like a runaway balloon, like a tiny o in the sky, so tiny-tiny you have to close your eyes to see it” . This Concludes how Rachel felt depressed about her birthday and has to surmount this embarrassing milestone in her life and tied up the look ends in the story.

Therefore, the story “Eleven” is a strong story in terms of the plot because it has a strong character development in the exposition, a strong description in the rising action, and an emotional but also relatable outcome in the resolution. The story “Eleven” reminds readers the life of an eleven year old kid, and gets to relate to the feeling of that embarrassing moment we all had as a kid and how we still are reminded of it. 

Works cited

  1. Cisneros, S. (1991). Eleven. In Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (pp. 33-38). Vintage Books.
  2. Garner, S. (2004). Sandra Cisneros. Twayne Publishers.
  3. Gonzalez, M. J. (1995). Childhood and adolescence in Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek. In A Reader's Companion to the Short Story in English (pp. 82-88). Greenwood Press.
  4. Pérez, E. R. (2009). Unveiling Sandra Cisneros. University of Texas Press.
  5. Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2009). Sandra Cisneros. Infobase Publishing.
  6. Munoz, M. (2008). The impact of childhood experiences in the works of Sandra Cisneros. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 6(3), 183-199.
  7. Mayorga, R. (2002). Finding the writer's voice: Sandra Cisneros and her poetics of space. Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 27(1), 111-139.
  8. Halpern, D. (2001). Mapping the margins: Ethnic feminist consciousness in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street. Journal of American Ethnic History, 20(2), 67-81.
  9. Olivares, J. D. (2005). Revisiting Sandra Cisneros' Woman Hollering Creek: An assessment of recent criticism. MELUS, 30(2), 55-76.
  10. Ruiz, M. (1997). The adolescent's struggle for identity in Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek. Ciberletras, 17. Retrieved from

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