Eleven by Sandra Cisneros

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Final Essay & Presentation

‘Eleven’ by Sandra Cisneros and ‘Mud’ by Maria Irene Fornes

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2300 words

Temidayo Ajayi

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Final Essay & Presentation

A short story ‘Eleven’ by Sandra Cisneros dwells upon the memories of an eleven-year-old girl that spends her birthday at school and gets into a discomforting situation with her teacher because of her lack of confidence. In spite of the multiple colloquial phrases and childish expressions, this is a very philosophical piece of writing. It touches upon such global and adult issues as experience, freedom, aging, life and death, knowledge and restrictions. The symbolism is very sophisticated here – under the veiled mask
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Although Rachel is very emotional, in the only dialogue between her and Mrs. Pierce she sounds very shy, unsure of herself, not ready to confront and timid.

The most important lesson for Rachel that comes out of this situation is that after wearing the disgusted sweater she has become even older, and it was tied to the experience instead of the birthday itself. She understands that it is the challenge she needs to grow up faster as she will receive additional benefits of behaving the way she wants and resisting to the outside irritators. As for the literature techniques, the author applies language, diction and symbolism to reveal the issues of experience, aging, knowledge, power, authority and freedom. The discovering is gaining age are conveyed with the help of the memories of eleven-year-old girl on her birthday. Rachel resists her humiliation from Mrs. Pierce, and that is the exact moment when her “smart eleven” comes as well[2].

The play “Mud” written by Maria Irene Fornes also assesses the theme of knowledge and understanding oneself using the example of Mae. This woman is illiterate and cannot make a living without ironing clothes. She lives with Lloyd who is a kind of a stepbrother for her, and with time he also replaces some functions of a husband. Lloyd cannot be called an intelligent or talented person – he is lazy and suffers from some unknown disease that makes him impotent and useless. Mae tries
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