Age Stereotypes In Sandra Cisneros’ Eleven

863 words - 3 pages

Sandra Cisneros’ Eleven is a powerful piece about the struggle of a young girl named Rachel on her eleventh birthday. The story portrays the fight to overcome her age and young maturity to be understood. However, she cannot conquer the stereotypes associated with her age. There is a hideous red sweater that no one in the class wants to claim; Rachel is then pinned with being the owner of the sweater. When she attempts to announce her innocence, the teacher immediately assumes she is not telling the truth. Her age is postulated to be a deterrent of her ability to tell the truth. Rachel does not feel eleven; rather, she is consumed with confusing emotions toward growing to maturity and the responsibilities that come of it. Eleven discusses the theme of growing up and what one must overcome through that process.
The experience of a year of one’s life sticks with them forever. The years that have passed will always be a part of who you are, for “…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 609). Because each year fits inside the next year, Rachel experiences emotions that were present earlier on in her life. For example, when the teacher completely rejects Rachel’s claims of innocence, she suddenly feels “…sick inside, like the part of me that’s three wants to come out of my eyes” (Cisneros 610). Rachel, however, has to fight off this desire to cry by trying to “…remember today I am eleven, eleven” (Cisneros 610). Her will to fight off this urge os not strong enough to prevent the tears. Rachel shows the difficulty in fighting off previous tendencies in life. With growing up come many challenges in fighting off actions accepted in younger years; Rachel faces the struggle of following the norms associated with her growing up.
Age is a significant factor in how a person is perceived. The older you are greatly affects how the things you say are taken. In the case of Rachel, truthfulness is assumed to be something that children have a hard time with. The teacher, when dealing with the possession of the red sweater, insisted that, “Of course it’s yours” (Cisneros 610). The teacher’s opinion carried more weight because “…she’s older and the teacher, she’s right and I’m not” (Cisneros 610). Even though Rachel was being completely honest about the sweater not being hers, she was completely overruled because the teacher was older than her. The teacher, quickly...

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