In what ways does Cisneros's description of herself at that age represent a divide between her inner sense of self and her external realities? ("Straw in Gold: A Metamorphosis") 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sandra Cisneros, who is thirty-two when writing her essay, perceives herself as an eleven-year-old in her essay. The creative spirit, the one that is able to make straw into gold "with a little imagination," has been in Sandra all her life, and it is the shy, sensitive child in her that holds her ideas. 

As a girl of eleven, Sandra made C's and D's in school, but she read many books from the library and she wrote poems about her brother Henry, with whom she was closest. She looked beyond the classroom through the window and watched a girl write her name in red ink, not blue or black. She folded her hands as she should, but inside she was fearful. She was a shy girl because her family moved frequently; furthermore, she did not like school because "all they saw was the outside of me," and she describes this as funny-looking. She could not come out of her shell except through her poetry and writing. And, yet, there is a connection between her life and her writing because of her traumatic experiences.

This was the period in my life, that slippery age when you are both child and woman and neither.

Sandra felt all this when she was young and did not realize her real talent, nor did she realize the divide between the beauty of her imagination and the environment in which she lived and would live for a number of years. But, she learns to take this "straw" and effect its metamorphosis into "gold." 

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