Straw Into Gold Analysis
Many people in today’s society have become whom they are because of how they grew up. Many have been shaped into who they are because of their culture, their upbringing, or their families. In Sandra Cisneros’s story, “Straw Into Gold”, she uses allusion, imagery, and irony to strongly depict how much of her life has truly shaped her into the writer she is today. In using these three rhetorical devices, she creates a better understanding of the impact her childhood had on her literature. Her allusion hints at the many expectations others had of Cisneros as she grew, and her story wholly discusses how she met those expectations or went her own way. The primary rhetorical device Cisneros uses in her story is allusion. The title and the story as a whole alludes to the fairytale Rumpelstiltskin and the idea that all Cisneros had was a bunch of straw and she did not know how to make it gold. This allusion creates the idea that people around Cisneros probably had expectations of her and she did not know how to meet those expectations. For example her teachers from her childhood probably wouldn’t have expected her to succeed because of her bad grades, but she exceeded those low expectations and turned out to be a successful writer. Imagery supports the reasoning Cisneros’s teachers may have had to make them think she would be a failure. All they would see would be “an avalanche of C’s and D’s” which could, in fact, cause anyone to doubt the possibilities of success for such a student. Sure the avalanche part was an exaggeration, but it was sufficient for the reader to imagine how bad Cisneros could have been doing in school as a child. This could have caused great insecurities in Cisneros, nonetheless even in the present she still considers herself “the girl in the picture with the skinny arms and a crumpled skirt and crooked hair”. In saying so, Cisneros makes a point that even at her age of thirty-two she still feels like...
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