“Eleven” is told from a first-person limited point of view, meaning the reader is only aware of what the narrator thinks and feels. Everything that is presented in the story is filtered through the lens of eleven-year-old Rachel, making any objective view of the story inaccessible—we don’t get Mrs. Price or Sylvia’s innermost thoughts and feelings, for instance. However, the very thing that makes the story inaccessible in one sense renders it extremely accessible in another. That is, the reader gets a deep dive into Rachel’s perspective, and is therefore able to relate to her on a personal level. The descriptive phrases peppered throughout the narrative make reference to things specific to an eleven-year-old’s life experience. To Rachel, growing up “is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one.” This series of similes evokes childhood pastimes such as perhaps cooking with an older family member, climbing trees, and playing with dolls. Similarly, she wishes she “didn’t have only eleven years rattling inside me like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box,” a phase that not only serves as evocative imagery but characterizes Rachel as a child, one who saves her pennies in a tin. 

Cisneros makes use of such comparisons throughout the story; the red sweater is “all stretched out like you could use it for a jump rope,” and when Rachel begins to cry, her body is “shaking like when you have the hiccups,” and her “whole head hurts like when you drink milk too fast.” In narrowing the frame of reference to that of an eleven-year-old—in having Rachel reach for the language to describe how she’s feeling and come up with phrases like “I want to be far away already, far away like a runaway balloon”—Cisneros grounds the story in the viewpoint of a child, recreating for the reader the swirl of emotions unique to childhood and the universality of Rachel’s experience.