Summary Of Eleven By Sandra Cisneros

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In her short story “Eleven,” Sandra Cisneros uses numbers and the red sweater as an extended metaphor to convey that a person’s value does not necessarily increase with age. A major component of this story is the influence that numbers and age play on the text and the impact they have on the character’s evaluated self-worth. Numbers are typically used to quantify not qualify something, and when they are applied to a person, they inevitably show a relatively flat meaning. To a child who is on the cusp of turning eleven, these supposed values attached to their lives mean a great deal. Rachel interprets numbers as wisdom, that the higher a person’s number, or age, the wiser they actually are. Throughout the story, even though she has advanced one more number, she wishes she “was one…show more content…
She sees numbers as a determined value that impact her, rather than both being independent variables. Rachel also claims that she is every number she has ever been at every single moment. “When you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight and seven, and six, and five, and four and three, and two, and one” (Cisneros 6) because it is all constant wisdom. By setting her worth at eleven, Rachel thinks less of herself. She becomes quantification instead of a qualification. Her self-worth is brought down because she limits herself based on her own age, instead of striving to be what is in reach. Rachel aspires to be something greater because she thinks that she is low and that she needs to know more. Instead of attempting to reach the wisdom of a twelve year old, she dreams for the knowledge of a centenarian. By restricting herself to

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