Yolanda And Assimilation Essay

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Assimilation leads to Cultural Schizophrenia
Assimilation is a difficult process that cannot take place without understanding the language of the new country, causing assimilation to be controlled by how much of the language is understood. In the book How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alverez these difficulties with language and assimilation are experienced by Yolanda, the main character in the book, and her older sister Carla. Both of the girls struggle with language because of the lack of assistance with language through their assimilation process. In addition, both of the girls suffer from Cultural schizophrenia. It is a type of schizophrenia that manifests its self when one cannot determine or identify in a single cultural
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She is unable to speak the same Spanish as the rest of her family, and Yolanda is often mistaken for an American. Being mistaken for an American, when she is truly Dominican makes it harder for her to know whether she is American or Dominican. On her first night back in the Dominican Republic Yolanda was out driving late at night in search of guavas. The car got a flat tire, and a couple of Dominican men came up to the car and offered to help her. However, Yolanda panics and struggles to communicate with the men who offer their help her. Yolanda is too frightened to communicate in any way and because she does not reply immediately they then assume she is American. Following this accusation Yolanda is unsure of how to act in this situation “She has been too frightened to carry out any strategy… [they were] rendered docile by her gibberish” (Alverez 20). Yolanda tries to communicate with the men, but due to her frazzled state she is unable to formulate cognitive sentences in English or Spanish. While back in the Dominican Republic she finds it extremely difficult to communicate with others because of the language barrier that has developed. Over the many years of being in America and the limited times she uses her Spanish, she has forgotten the Language that once came so easily to her. Her uncertainty with the language is clear thought her time visiting her family. It even makes her nervous in situations that she would navigate easily before, this inhibits her ability to communicate with her family and truly fit in again. During this time in the Dominican Republic it is clear that it is the first moments where Yolanda’s cultural schizophrenia is clearly shown. In New York, Yolanda has wanted to be American and fit in for so long, but she had several internal conflicts because she still values her Dominican past. However, when Yolanda is in the Dominican Republic

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