What Is “Straw Into Gold” by Sandra Cisneros?

“Straw Into Gold: The Metamorphosis of the Everyday” is a personal essay written by Sandra Cisneros. In this essay, the author talks about her life and how her experiences molded her into a writer.

When one reads the title “Straw Into Gold,” the story, “Rumpelstiltskin” might come to mind, where a maid was given the task of spinning straw into gold. Even though that task sounded insurmountable, she succeeded. The same is true with the life of Sandra Cisneros. She survived some seemingly impossible roadblocks on her way to becoming a writer. However, she persevered and became very successful in her quest.

Personal essays are usually quite short in length, and are nonfiction. The tone of the essay is informal and quite intimate, usually in first person, and the writer often shares personal details to make a point. Here, Cisneros speaks of poverty, growing up as a Latina and the difficulties she encountered. There is also a prominent analogy of comparing the writer’s life to the story “Rumpelstiltskin.” Analogies can be quite powerful, especially when used to compare something that might be unfamiliar to a topic with which readers are more comfortable.