As I kept reading Sandra Cisneros’ short novel “Eleven”, the thing that brought out my attention while reading it was the fact on the behavior and thought that the main character Rachel was having with her teacher Mrs. Price. Mrs. Price was a teacher I was never had and was having a huge conflict with while I was in school all my life. It was Rachel’s 11th birthday, and her day was going to be the best day ever, until she went to class and got treated horribly by her teacher Mrs. Price like she was a lower class citizen, and that since Mrs. Price was much older than Rachel, she had the more advantage towards her. That in my books, shouldn’t be a case for a teacher like Mrs. Price to have towards her students, instead of forcing a kid to put on an ugly, ripped sweater that Price realized and said, “I remember you wearing it once” (Cisneros 7) and believing she is right, and Rachel, the innocent Eleven-year-old, being wrong and not listened to saying that is not her sweater. In reality, you should not want to be doing this in front of your students, because, what kind of action do you make this look towards your other students watching the mean Mrs. Price, forcing this Eleven-year-old Rachel to wear this nasty sweater that has been in the classroom closet for months being older then someone does not mean to be the higher class, and think you will always be right then the younger age person, everyone is equal, no matter what, this is all unfair to the younger person since they do not have rights to say anything to an elder person. If you want to act like you are always right and higher than the younger aged person, and that everything you do that is apparently right, what actions would it have with the child seeing this happen, in their mind, they want think the same, that it is better to be the older and bigger boss, when you the older, wiser Teacher need to realize you are their guidance.
It was Rachel’s day because she was turning 11, and in her reality, her day was not going the way every other eleven-year-old wants it to be. She thought of it being her day, until shew got to school and had the feeling no one else wanted. She did not feel Eleven right away, it takes a couple of days to sit in, but once she got into class, that eleven-year-old brain wanted to have her 100th birthday upon her instead of eleven. “only today I wish I didn’t have only eleven years rattling inside me like pennies in a tin Band aid box.” (Cisneros 7). That moment Mrs. Price put that ugly nasty sweater on her desk and forced it on Rachel that it was hers, this nasty ripped sweater that was left in the classroom coatroom for months, had Rachel know what to do and say to Mrs. Price if she could have been “older” then her teacher. Mrs. Price kept telling her that this ugly sweater was Rachel’s’ and Rachel could not do anything because Mrs. Price was older and elder and higher then Rachel was. Rachel had this feeling of telling Mrs. Price off, but kept thinking she needed to be older to do that, and also had this feeling of sickness, like she wanted to cry from this, like a 3-year-old. All of her emotions from when she was 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 years old, all went to the back of her eyes, realizing she was starting to cry, and in front of everyone, “I wish I was invisible, but I’m not.” (Cisneros 8). This should not be a day that a little girl that was turning 11 feel this way in class, crying in tears, like she was 3 again, in front of everyone, when she is turning 11, a bigger and older girl? It is unfair for someone like her to not be right all the time and listened to from an older person, if anyone her teacher, Mrs. Price.
Now with Mrs. Price, the story revolves around the behavior that she put upon this little girl Rachel that was turning 11 that day. A teacher’s job is to be the nicest and most caring towards her students, like a role model. In her eyes, she looked at all of these younger students being her lower class, that she has more power and control over. “because she’s older and the teacher, she is right and I am not.” (Cisneros 7). Mrs. Price believed in getting her way when it came to her younger students. Price did not know about Rachel turning 11 today, but just thought about who’s nasty, dirty sweater this was, so that it can get out of the class coatroom. Someone like Mrs. Price always kept things in her mind to stay there, and if someone young like Rachel tried to say something to her, “that’s not, I don’t you’re not… not mine,” she murdered to Mrs. Price. Mrs. Price kept getting mad at Rachel for not taking the jacket when she pointed out it was Rachel’s in the first place, when it really was not. Seeing someone act this way to young kids when you should be their idol, is not the appropriate way, if it is their birthday or not, everyone needs to be treated the best they can be, or else, kids seeing their teacher be mean to their students, they will see that as a, that person is more powerful and the boss just because they are older.
This short story gives a lot of thoughts towards teachers and students being like this in class, like being older of younger does not mean you need to be a higher or lower class towards each other. Once that younger child sees all of this happen to her, and then in the end see that it was someone else sweater, you must feel heartbroken that someone like your teacher, acts this way around her student on just some jacket, and make that person feel awful, awful enough to be crying and sick to her stomach, knowing that the little girl that could not talk back to her teacher because of her age, and just sit there and take the words coming from her older teacher. “I am eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one, but I wish I was one hundred and two.” (Cisneros 9). My perspective towards this story is, you should not be so over powered just because you are older than everyone in the class, but to be that idol that people may see you as, everyone can be right or wrong, but also should be heard from, whether right or wrong, young or old, or on their 11th birthday.
Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek and other stories. New York: 2002, print.
Heather Andrew. “summary; Sandra Cisneros, Eleven”, 2003-2017
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