?Only Daughter Essay

What we dream about and wish to be is motivated by a series of life experiences. Some experiences may be pleasant and encouraging while others are painful and discouraging, but overall it is our decision to make them our motivation or our downfall. Both Sherman Alexie and Sandra Cisneros establish who they are and why they are who they are in very different ways. Details make both stories come to life and relatable to an array of readers. Sherman and Sandra are writers who rose from their desire to prove skeptics wrong.

Sandra was motivated by her yearning to make an impression on her father and Sherman wanted to break through the idea that Indians are stupid. Both writers are now writers because no one believed they could be writers. Sandra Cisneros makes her story vivid through her diction. She writes in Spanish phrases commonly heard in her household, which allows the reader to feel as if he/she lived with her and relate to moments where their native language made home feel that much more special. Also, the spanish phrases allow the readers to reminiscence about phrases their parents frequently used.

Sandra also uses the structure of the essay to parallel her growth and maturity as an individual. Her essay starts with her perception as a child and ends with her reflection as an adult. She uses short sentences to describe her father’s nostalgia and much longer sentences for the process it takes to get everything back to how it was before moving. Additionally, Sandra frequently uses short phrases to reassure herself that her father’s actions and words weren’t based on her character but on innocent mistakes he made when trying to speak English.

The length of her sentences is proportional to the time each event lasts. While her father’s nostalgia is brief its aftermath is much longer. Sandra starts her essay with one sentence describing who she thought herself to be and ends her essay with one question her father asks making her hard work completely pay off. Sandra demonstrates throughout her essay that simple sentences or questions can have a more profound meaning because of the events leading up to them.


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