Point of view
The author chooses “that” is to tell the story by determining the point of view. Based on who the narrator is, he/she will be standing at one point and seeing the action. This viewpoint will give the narrator a whole perspective of events as they occur. Many stories have the protagonist telling the story, while in others, the narrator might be an additional personality or an external viewer, a narrator who is not in the narrative at all. The narrator shouldn’t be confused with the writer, who’s the author of the narrative and whose opinions may not be those written to the narrative.
The point of view is that the view of 11-year-old Rachel. The story occurs at college through her birthday and can be all about her humiliation of getting an old sweater. Through the narrative, she speaks from the first-person perspective, sharing her ideas as events unfold.
“Only now I wish I did not have just twenty five years rattling within me just like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box. Now I wish I had been one hundred and hundred rather than eleven because when I had been just one hundred and two I would have known exactly what to say if Mrs. Price place the red blouse in my desk” (Cisneros).
What’s the teacher believing as she attempts to eliminate this nasty red sweater in her classroom? Perhaps it reminds her of her tough mother! Perhaps some sweet old woman had knitted it with love to get a granddaughter who currently has resisted it. Why does Sylvia state it goes to Rachel? Is she jealous of Rachel for a reason? Each character will have a somewhat different story from her or his perspective.