Sandra Cisneros

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How are the uses of analogies in Cisneros's "Straw Into Gold: The Metamorphosis of the Everyday" and Morrison's "Cinderella's Stepsisters" similar and different?

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Cisneros' technique is similar to Morrison's in the sense that both are references to fairy tales, where the main protagonists are women who manage to transcend adversity and misfortune.

In Cisneros' essay, the title references the story of Rumpelstiltskin, where a miller's daughter (with the help of an imp named Rumpelstiltskin) manages to transform straw into gold and eventually marry the king. Cisneros uses the "straw into gold" analogy to highlight how she has blossomed from an awkward child into a successful and empowered woman. Her thesis is that every woman has the potential to succeed, regardless of her current challenges. In this, her analogy is similar to Morrison's, who argues that all women have the power to take hold of opportunities and to realize their ambitions.

In Morrison's essay, the writer references the story of Cinderella and her step-sisters to argue that it is the province of every successful woman to ensure her fellow sisters' self-determination and empowerment; essentially women should refrain from masculine competitiveness and aim to foster the inherent, nurturing tendencies of their feminine nature. Morrison asserts that she is "alarmed by the violence that women do to each other: professional violence, competitive violence, emotional violence...the willingness of women to enslave other women."

Morrison's technique is different from Cisneros' in the sense that Morrison focuses not just on women transcending adversity, but also on feminine violence against their same-sex counterparts. Morrison's essay highlights what women decide to subject their peers to when they are in a position of power, while Cisneros largely concentrates on women transcending traditional norms and societal expectations.

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