Reading the story “eleven” by Cisneros was interesting. Throughout the story, it was Rachel’s eleventh birthday. She talks about how she does not feel like she is eleven but, like she is still ten. Once she gets to school all she thinks about is going home to her parents that are going to sing her happy birthday when she returns home. Although, it did not turn out like she had hope it would, instead she was embarrassed by her teacher. The teacher had found a red sweater and had asked who was the owner of it. Sylvia says that she thinks its Rachel and the teacher wanting to get rid of the sweater, goes along by saying she saw Rachel wear it once. Rachel tried to deny the sweater but she could not find the right words to say and thought that since Mrs. Price was older she had to be right even if she was wrong. Even though Mrs. Price was wrong to accuse Rachel because right before lunch, Phyllis admitted it was her sweater and then Rachel gave it back to her. Cisneros is trying to say that there is a significance to the experiences you have gained and that each age you turn adds to who you are.


Each age has an importance that reminds a person of an age they once were. The author says, “the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the inside of the tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one” (Cisneros 6). As you get older it adds to who you are and you then become all the ages you once were at any moment. A moment that happens and makes you remember that certain age becomes a part of you. Like when Rachel was telling her mother that it was okay to cry like she was three again (Cisneros 6).


Her mother relived an age she once was and she could not do much about it because that was how she was feeling. When Rachel is fifteen and she is going to remember her eleventh birthday as an embarrassing moment and think back on how she felt, which made her cry like she was three. Moments that happen can influence you, it can make you think of good times and bad times. Growing up teaches you a lot of things, which adds to your story. Throughout life you learn new things and new feelings which is what Rachel is doing. She is young and not really to full terms on what is happening at that moment. Rachel says, “Today I wish I was one hundred and two instead of eleven because if I was one hundred and two I’d have known what to say when Mrs. Price put the red sweater on my desk” (Cisneros 7).  If she was older she would have been more experience and understood what she had to say to let her teacher know that the red sweater was not hers, she would have been brave to speak up.

Rachel was feeling embarrassed during the scene with her teacher making her put on the sweater she could not control her emotions. All of Rachel’s ages came and she did not know what to do or how to feel all she could do was cry.

Baby Crying

She wanted to escape and wished she was invisible (Cisneros 9). When your embarrassed you feel like all eyes are on you and all you want to do is disappear. She had to handle a new experience that she had encounter, which added to her. Thomas Moore says, “Aging brings out the flavors a personality” (Moore 137).  Getting older brings out other emotions like when Rachel was angry, sad, and other emotions it was from what she had already encounter throughout her life. Towards the end Rachel’s says, “That stupid Phyllis Lopez, who is even dumber than Sylvia Saldivar, says she remembers the red sweater is hers! I take it off right away and give it to her” (Cisneros 9). In a way, she was relieved that she didn’t have to wear that sweater anymore, but she was still upset that the teacher acted like nothing happened. Rachel tried to be happing since it was her birthday but it was too late she was upset, and her eleventh birthday had been ruined. Each age has a significance that makes you who you are and gives you a better understanding of things from the experiences that have came into your life.  Moore talks about growing old gives you a sense of individuality and some wisdom (Moore 137). Throughout life most people go through a lot of experiences, which teaches to become better and learn from their mistakes. They learn and become a better version of themselves for next time.

Cisneros’s point is that what you experience as you age becomes Significant and becomes a part of who you are.  Each year is adding to you, making you better, and giving you experience you learned. It is important to learn and know that next time you can handle that situation. Experiences creates who you are, which is good because the more you go through the more you know. Cisneros wants us to take away from the story that it is okay to feel certain emotions that make you feel childish or not mature because that makes you who you are. It adds to your story and makes you a unique person. Significance of this story is that you should not let a little embarrassing moment get to you because things are only going to get harder. Life is up and down, you do not know what is going to happen, all you can do is go with the flow and be happy to the best of your ability. No one is really going to think about what had happen after it happen because they become to focus on their own lives to worry about yours. Things happen you cannot control, all you can do is go through it and learn. Remember, moments that seems bad or good makes you, you.






Works cited

Moore, Thomas. “Care of the Soul.” Economics in Spirit and Truth (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

Cisneros, Sandra. “Eleven.” Women Hollering Creek and other stories. Americas Review, 1992, pp. 6-9.