How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents By Julia Alvarez Analysis

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“I think that when I write, I write out of who I am and the questions I need to figure out” (How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents 169). Everyone has a way to escape reality, some draw, some listen to music, some take a nap, while others merely read and write, such as Julia Alvarez. The self proclaimed Dominican- American explains so in the Bloomsbury Review as her early life has consisted of many hardships that her writing addresses at one point or another throughout her poetry and novels. To begin with, Julia Alvarez’s early life is a main source of her writing because of its complexity. Julia Atlas Garcia Maria Teresa Alvarez was born on March 27, 1950 (Haley; How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents 168). She was born into a wealthy …show more content…
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents has a intriguing format because it is written in reverse chronological order which lets the reader see what the Garcia girls have lost and gained throughout the story. The book centers on the four Garcia girls: Carla, Sandra “Sandi”, Yolanda “Yo”, and Sofia “Fifi” and with Yo being the narrator, one can conclude that the book is based on Alvarez’s personal experiences, as yo translates to I in Spanish. The book is divided into three parts throughout the 1950’s and 1970’s which can be broken down into five vignettes (Haley). In the first part, Yo has returned to the Dominican Republic and is now recalling her past experiences. (Brynie). The second part focuses on the family’s struggle of adapting to the American culture, while the last part tells of the Garcia’s life before their execution from the Dominican Republic (Haley). Many conflict transpired throughout the book. For example, the Garcia family was socially left out due to the language barrier and the new environment in the United States. Likewise, feminism, the new social stigma the girls were introduced to, conflicted with their traditional, sexist, Latin culture as the girls were told to be strong and independent in one culture while also being told to be submissive to men in …show more content…
Since Alvarez has experienced these issues firsthand, she can connect with the reader and provide a true understanding of the topics she addresses. For instance, her personal experience as an immigrant was a huge inspiration in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents as she too felt homesick and discriminated against (Athy; Kapia). Naturally, Alvarez also had to find a balance in her two colliding worlds. Nonetheless, Alvarez is proud of her Latina heritage and gladly describes herself as a Dominican- American, emphasizing the hyphen by stating, “the most exciting things happen in the realm of that hyphen- the place where two worlds collide and blend together”(Haley). However, while Alvarez takes pride in her heritage, she does not agree with the society 's view on women and their implied role to men. Although Alvarez did not address these issues in the Dominican Republic for fear of the male dominated society it did encourage her to pursue an education to prove her sextist culture wrong (Kapai). While these are main topics in Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, she does also address these in other books such as In the Time of the Butterflies and

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