Writing Situation: In the vignette “Hairs,” Sandra Cisneros reveals a lot about the narrator’s family, especially her mother, through a discussion of one physical
Her first paragraph describes the hair of the narrator’s father and the hair of her siblings, using those descriptions to give the reader insight into each of their
personalities. She also reveals the narrator’s feelings towards her mother in the passage, using a variety of stylistic devices to achieve this effect.
Think about the people in your own family, the characteristics you share with them and those which make them (and you) distinctive. Decide which physical trait you
would like to write about. (hair, eyes, feet, etc.)
• Is the trait one you share with your family or yours alone?
• How might you present your piece with metaphors, similes, personification, alliteration, and repetition?
Using “Hairs” as a model, write a vignette about your own life that discusses an important physical trait and how it reveals something about the person who possesses
it and your relationship to him/her.
You must incorporate at least three stylistic devices in your vignette.
Everybody in our family has different hair. My dad’s is like a helmet, brown and gray and never moving out of place. My hair is like a soft blanket. It lays flat and
takes whatever shape it wants. My sister Meghan’s hair is like long sunshine, the brightest blonde, shining so brilliantly it would hurt your eyes. Caitlin’s hair is
like tulle, all thin and whispering, it almost disappears. And Ryan, who is the youngest, has hair that is a mop. Blonde and brown and thick, and messy on purpose.
But my mother’s hair, my mother’s hair is thin like my sister Cailtin’s, but it falls in layers that look like perfectly placed petals encircling her head. And she
always smells of flowers, flowers and coffee, with her perfectly placed petals of hair. Always pulled up in the morning, and while going through her busy day. Always unfurled in curls in the evening when she wants to be fancy and relaxed. When her and my dad are going out to smile and laugh with friends. Her flowering smile that is contagious.
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