Sandra Cisneros’s short story “Eleven” is full of literary devices. The most prominent device used in the story is symbolism. The number eleven itself is a symbol for the protagonist, Rachel. Eleven is also the age at which Rachel has her birthday, and the age at which she has her first period.
The color red also plays a big role in the story and is symbolic of several things. Red can represent danger, as seen when Rachel gets her period for the first time and is scared that she might bleed to death. Red can also represent love, as seen when Rachel’s mother gives her a red sweater for her birthday.
Cisneros also uses foreshadowing in the story. When Rachel’s teacher tells her that she can “go home now,” the reader knows that something bad is going to happen to Rachel on her way home. This is because the phrase “go home” is often used to mean “leave” or “get out.”
“Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros is a complex eleven-year-old’s story that employs many literary techniques to characterize him. Rachel, the innocent 1st person narrator, recounts how her abysmal 11th birthday went. Despite her maturity, Rachel expresses herself with kidlike clarity when she speaks. When she tries to talk, she feels ashamed and powerless, but she knows that as soon as she returns home with her parents, her terrible day will be gone. Her wording betrays both her age and attitude.
When Rachel is “walking on air,” she is actually excited and happy, but uses a metaphor to show her youth. Sandra Cisneros also uses imagery when Rachel is in class and daydreaming about being kissed by David Levinson. She says, “I could feel his lips, soft like cotton balls, on my neck” (Cisneros 3). The image of cotton balls emphasizes the tenderness of a young love.
Sandra Cisneros also employs similes to contrast Rachel’s feelings of insignificance with those of adulthood. When Mrs. Price calls on her in class and she does not know the answer, Rachel feels “smaller than a penny” (Cisneros 2). This simile reflects how unimportant she feels at that moment.
In contrast, when Mrs. Price calls on her later in class and she does know the answer, Rachel stands “tall as a giant” (Cisneros 4). This simile illustrates how confident and significant she feels in that moment. Sandra Cisneros uses literary devices to give insight into the thoughts of a young girl experiencing an eventful birthday.
Her style is adolescent, yet there are several similes in her writing that suggest she’s an adult. She compares crying to uncontrolled hiccups, guzzling milk too quickly, and the noises of tiny animals. Her confidence shatters like “coins in a tin Band-Aid Box,” and she is always on the verge of tears. Rachel’s diction does not, however, simply indicate her age. In commenting on things such as runaway balloons, she comes across as a realistic eleven-year-old.
Sandra Cisneros also employs a great deal of imagery in the story. Cisneros writes, “I have twelve years to live. That’s not very long. If I start crying now, I might not be able to stop.” This line is significant because it shows how Rachel is feeling at that particular moment in the story. Sandra Cisneros uses literary devices such as similes, metaphors, and imagery to help readers understand what Rachel is feeling throughout the story.
Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 20, 1954. She is a Mexican-American writer and her work focuses on the lives of Mexican-American women. In Eleven, Sandra Cisneros tells the story of a young girl named Rachel who is trying to come to terms with her birthday. Sandra Cisneros uses literary devices such as similes, metaphors, and imagery to help readers understand what Rachel is feeling throughout the story.
Similes are a type of figurative language that compare two unlike things using the words “like” or “as.” Sandra Cisneros uses similes throughout the story to help readers understand Rachel’s emotions. For example, when Rachel is crying she says that it feels like “hiccups that won’t stop no matter how many glasses of water I drink.”
This simile helps readers understand how uncontrollable Rachel’s tears are. Sandra Cisneros also uses similes to describe Rachel’s confidence. She writes that Rachel’s confidence “rattles like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box.” This simile shows how fragile Rachel’s confidence is.
Metaphors are another type of figurative language that compare two unlike things without using the words “like” or “as.” Sandra Cisneros uses metaphors throughout the story to help readers understand Rachel’s emotions. For example, when describing how fast Rachel drinks her milk, she writes that it “goes down her throat like water poured into a funnel.”
This metaphor helps readers understand how quickly Rachel is trying to drink her milk. Sandra Cisneros also uses metaphors to describe Rachel’s tears. She writes that Rachel’s tears are like “a dam ready to break.” This metaphor shows how close Rachel is to crying again.
Imagery is another type of figurative language that helps readers visualize what is happening in the story. Sandra Cisneros uses imagery throughout the story to help readers understand Rachel’s emotions. For example, when Rachel is trying to stop herself from crying, she says that her tears are like “little animal noises…caught in my throat begging to be let out.”
This imagery helps readers understand how much Rachel does not want to cry. Sandra Cisneros also uses imagery to describe Rachel’s birthday cake. She writes that the cake is “a round white cake with eleven pink candles burning on top.” This imagery helps readers visualize what Rachel’s birthday cake looks like.
Sandra Cisneros uses literary devices such as similes, metaphors, and imagery to help readers understand what Rachel is feeling throughout the story. These literary devices help readers visualize Rachel’s emotions and understand her character.
However, in the following sections of her narrative, Rachel’s thoughts are those of a typical eleven-year-old, and her descriptive ability is more developed. Rachel has an incredible talent for communicating her sentiments. However, because she is an unassuming narrator, she occasionally overlooks the greater significance of her feelings.
She does not express the desire for cake, her birthday song, or typical birthday activities in this film. She does not, however, inform us she wants the comfort of her parents. She understands enough about life experience to know she doesn’t have enough in common with other older people like herself.
Rachel’s use of similes and metaphors also create a more vivid picture for the reader. A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using the words “like” or “as,” while a metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two things without using those words. Sandra Cisneros uses both devices extensively throughout Eleven.
For example, Rachel compares her teacher to a robot when she says, “Mrs. Price reminded me of one of those metal monsters on TV shows about other planets that suck up human brains for breakfast” (Cisneros 2). This simile allows readers to better understand how Rachel feels about her teacher by providing a relatable image.
In addition, metaphors are used when Rachel is thinking about her birthday. She says, “I wished I were one of those Timex watches that never need batteries and run forever” (Cisneros 3). This metaphor reveals how Rachel feels about getting older and having to depend on others. By understanding these literary devices, readers can gain a greater understanding of Eleven.
Sandra Cisneros uses literary devices extensively in her short story Eleven to create a more vivid picture for the reader. Through the use of first person narration, similes, and metaphors, Cisneros allows readers to better understand the main character, Rachel.
Rachel is one of the most remarkable characters in Madeleine L’Engle’s work, and her story has an even more compelling backdrop. She is the oldest child in a family of four that includes two sisters, one younger than she and another older by six years. Her mother died giving birth to her older sister.
Rachel has two qualities that make her so memorable: first, she is incredibly brave; and second, she knows what to do when things get tough. Twice she expresses a desire to have the experience of someone who is age 102. At eleven, Rachel understands that with experience comes confidence, personal strength, and most importantly, knowledge on how to react in hostile situations.
Sandra Cisneros uses this story to show that age is not always an accurate predictor of wisdom or strength. Rachel also exhibits the personal strength to protect herself from bullies. When she is confronted by Theresa, who is both older and larger than her, Rachel does not give in to tears or threats. Instead, she draws on her experience of being bullied in the past to stand up for herself.
She tells Theresa that if she hits her, Rachel will hit her back twice as hard. This comment catches Theresa off guard and she backs down, leaving Rachel victorious. Sandra Cisneros uses this scene to demonstrate that even children can be strong in the face of adversity if they draw on their experiences and inner strength.