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Characterization Of Rachel Through The Use Of Literary Techniques In Cisneros’ Eleven

650 words - 3 pages

Characterization of Rachel Through the Use of Literary Techniques in Cisneros’ Eleven

Sandra Cisneros writes a memoir through the eyes of an eleven year old. Turning eleven happens to be a tragic day for the main character, Rachel. Through various literary techniques such as hyperbole, simile, and syntax, Rachel is characterized. Rachel is a fresh turning eleven year old who finds herself in an awful situation on her birthday. Forced to wear a raggedy old sweater that doesn’t belong to her, she makes it defiantly clear her feelings towards the clothing item, and we see this through use of hyperboles. Rachel describes the sweater as ugly and too “stretched out like you could use it for a jump rope.” This extreme exaggeration demonstrates the fire within Rachel. She is a defiant and pouty little girl who out of stubbornness has to defy the sweater in her mind. “It’s maybe a thousand years old”, she says to herself in act to degrade the filthy red sweater even more. The sweater to Rachel has become an eternal battle of ages. She is torn on whether or not to stand up and act bigger than her age or resort back to one of her inner ages of one to ten. “Even if it belonged to me I wouldn’t say so”, is her final resolution about the sweater. This inner defiance gives evidence to Rachel’s determination and individuality. The sweater now represents a sort of barrier and if she submits herself to it, she fears the world of ages and maturity.

The inner battle continues through use of similes and syntax patterns. Cisneros brilliantly weaves a series of vivid metaphors that of an eleven year old to further portray Rachel’s character. “Today I wish I didn’t have only eleven years rattling inside me like pennies in a tin band-aid box.” This simile characterizes Rachel as not only a child but also portrays her desire to be older. The image evokes a childish...

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