Eleven* by Sandra Cisneros

Name: _____________________
English I - Period: ______
Teacher: ___________________
Date: ______________
“Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros
Discussion Guide and Review
1. Do you agree with the author’s opinion in the first sentence? Explain your response.
2. If this was an essay you wrote in class, the first sentence would be considered the
3. If the first sentence is the ___________________, the next two paragraphs might represent
___________________________ supporting the author’s opinion.
4. The following quote represents the author’s use of which poetic device, and these devices help
aid the author’s use of which literary element? “… the way you grow old is kind of like an onion
or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fir one inside the other….”
5. “…eleven years rattling inside me like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box” is an example of which
poetic device?
6. List the major characters in the story, and indicate why they are significant.
7. When Ms. Price puts the sweater on Rachel’s desk, what literary element comes into play?
8. What would Rachel have gained if she had been one hundred and two?
“Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros - Discussion Guide & Review
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9. When Rachel describes the sweater as “maybe a thousand years old,” she is using which poetic
10. When Rachel says “if it belonged to me I wouldn’t say so,” what is she emphasizing?
11. What is the author’s purpose for using dialogue?
12. Sylvia Sandivar told Ms. Price the sweater belonged to Rachel. What textual evidence would
best indicate this as an example of conflict?
13. What is the author continuing to do when she says Rachel denies owning the sweater “in a little
voice that was maybe me when I was four”?
14. Provide textual evidence that best supports Rachel’s reason for not arguing with the teacher?
15. What is the author’s purpose for repeating “not mine” and “eleven”?
16. What is the meaning of the following quote? “A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.” What is
Rachel’s “mote”?
17. What literary element is evident in the following quote? “…I’ve shoved the red sweater to the
tippy-tip corner of my desk and it’s hanging all over the edge like a waterfall….”
18. What is the meaning of “syntax”?
19. What literary element is reflected in the following quote? “… I put one arm through one sleeve
of the sweater that smells like cottage cheese, and then the other arm through the other and
stand there with my arms apart like the sweater hurts me and it does, all itchy and full of germs
that aren’t even mine.” What is the author’s purpose in using this element?
Provide textual evidence of two metaphors used in paragraph 19.
“Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros - Discussion Guide & Review
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21. Aside from the sweater, what really upsets Rachel?
22. Who “is even dumber than Sylvia Saldivar” and why?
23. How does Rachel try to make herself feel better? Does it work?
24. Why does Rachel feel “it’s too late” to celebrate her birthday?
25. What emotion is Rachel expressing when she says she wants to be “far away like a balloon”?
26. What symbolizes the author’s eleventh birthday? What quote in the story best describes this