Quiencenera Essay Research Paper Quinceanera by

Quiencenera Essay, Research Paper

Quinceanera by Judith Ortiz Cofer

What shocked me that midnight was that I heard my own voice loud and clear, Julia Alvarez mentioned. Julia Alvarez remembers the hard work and the amount of time spent in planning her quinceanera, just as if occurred yesterday. Alvarez illustrates her emotions and feeling through this outstanding poem.

Starting with the title, Quinceanera, a reader can detect hidden meanings. In the Spanish language, the word quinceanera means that a new voice will be heard as a girl becomes of age, a fifteen-year-old girl s coming out party in Latin cultures. In the poem Quinceanera, by Judith Ortiz Cofer, she tells the story of when she turned fifteen. Cofer demonstrates the tone of the poem very well. The denotation of tone states that one conveys an attitude toward the person addressed, however the attitude is clear to the reader. For example, the tone of the poem is clearly seen when the author is thinking to herself, as she becomes a woman throughout the day. She does not want to grow up because she will have to maintain her own laundry, her childhood has been outgrown because she stored her dolls in a chest as if they were dead, and she awakens at night because she can feel her skin growing, stretching, and forming into her new womanly body. Although she experienced these feelings, every girl has the privilege of having the same kind of experience

The reader can also observe figures of speech in the poem. First of all, similes are throughout the entire poem. For example, the first three lines of the poem states that My dolls have been put away like dead / children in a chest I will carry / with me when I marry, is an example of a simile that has great meaning to it. This quote has a meaning that since the dolls have been put in storage, the only thing left from that part of childhood is the memories that will always remain. When marriage comes around, the dolls will be passed down to the daughters of the family. Secondly, lines 23-24 state I am wound like the guts of a clock / waiting for each hour to release me. The girl feels badly about herself here, she is comparing herself to a broken clock that is going to bust any minute or hour. She feels like her skin is going to stretch so much that her bones are going to break out at any given time. Metaphors are also demonstrated in the poem. Line five in the poem states that It is soft as the inside of my thighs. The meaning of this line can be clearly understood that the slip under the skirt is being compared to how the inside of the leg feels. Figurative language increases the characteristics and uniqueness of the poem.

Although quinceaneras are of the Latin culture, each one has its own special touch. Each girl who is involved experience many of the same feelings and emotions, but the way they are displayed is what makes the girl become the woman that she is expected to be. By the tone of the story and the figurative language that is expressed, is what makes the reader feel and imagine what the writer is going through or what they have already experienced.


Cofer, Judith Ortiz. Quinceanera in Literature, 7th Ed. New York: Library

Of Congress


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