Sandra Cisneros’s story “Eleven” is narrated by Rachel, who reflects on the multiple meanings of the age and number eleven along with a humiliating incident that she endured at school on the day she turned eleven. In terms of a summary that incorporates a number of specific points, the following elements can be incorporated:
For points 1 and 7, the “who” of the story is Rachel, who writes in first-person point of view. Rachel is eleven as she thinks about the terrible day, which is actually her birthday. Regarding the “where” and “when” of points 3 and 4, she is recalling the day’s horrific incidents, which took place earlier in her classroom at school.
As to point 5, the story is about humiliation and resilience. One of Rachel’s classmates as well as her teacher nearly ruin her day. The classmate claims that an unappealing red sweater is Rachel's, and the teacher believes them and insists that she put it on. Rachel’s desire to be well behaved leads her to obey the teacher, even though she knows the teacher is wrong, and to protest very feebly. The girl’s resilience is shown through her confidence in her family’s affection and the security of home, where cake and a celebration will improve her spirits.