Everyone has a point in their lives that stands out either for good memories or bad. In Sandra Cisneros’ story “Eleven”, that is the age for a girl named Rachel. Her eleventh birthday turns out differently than she had hoped. There are several significant details that make it an important part of the story. In this paper, I will explain the significance of the number eleven and what eleven symbolized as the title of the story, as a prime number, and as part of who she will always be.
First of all, the choice of a title for a short story can hold a great deal of importance. Often, it can be a symbol itself or point to an element of significance in the story. By choosing “Eleven” as the title, Cisneros is directing attention to Rachel’s age, the day that she turns eleven. Rachel thinks that she will feel more important, or different, because it is her birthday, but she doesn’t. As it says in the introduction, “And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t” (Cisneros). The author also repeatedly says the number eleven in the story to emphasize its importance, such as when Rachel thinks, “Today I’m eleven” and “I’m eleven today” (Cisneros). Using “eleven” as the title and repeatedly throughout the story, allows the reader to remember that time in their own life, and how they would think each year would be different.
Next, the choice of eleven out of any other number is also significant as it is a prime number. A prime number can not be divided or paired off, it is an odd number. The number eleven is also made up of two ones, again, single and alone. In the story, Rachel says that she is different from the others, and she seems to keep to herself a lot. This is shown in the story when Rachel says, “Maybe because I’m skinny, maybe because she doesn’t like me...” (Cisneros). Also the difference between the odd numbers and even numbers is shown when she is “crying like [she is] three”, and also...