Julia Alvarez: The Voice of the Mirabal Sisters Numerous accounts of families affected by oppressive dictatorships exist all around the world. Julia Alvarez, an author whose father was involved in a resistance group to such a regime, is a prime example of one of those stories. After leaving her childhood home of the Dominican Republic, Alvarez struggled to adapt her lifestyle to match that of an average American. During this time period, Alvarez recalled her experience under an authoritarian government and combined it with her impressive storytelling skills to create a fictional documentation of another family just like her’s.
Because of this, Yolanda is stuck in the middle. She does not know whether or not she should become completely American, or stick to her roots. She loves when she is called her real name instead of the “bastardized”, American version, but on the other hand, she hates the patriarchy that is part of the Dominican culture (81). The same goes for other many other things. Yolanda both hates and loves both of her cultures, but trying to fit in with both of them at the same time is too much for her, especially because she sees herself as secondary compared to Americans.
Barrientos writes her narrative in the chronological order allowing the audience to understand and follow along in her quest to re-enter the Latino community. Barrientos goes through an identity crisis where she stayed away from speaking Spanish so that she could conform in the American society. Barrientos was once told that she did not seem “Mexican”
Names/Nombres written by Julia Alvarez is a short story regarding a little girl, Hooleetah, moving with her family from the Dominican Republic to New York City in the 1960s. It is extremely clear within the beginning of the story that the girl absolutely despises it when people pronounce her, or her family's’ names wrong, this is proven when she corrects the customs officer under her breath when he mispronounces her family’s last name. “At Immigration, the officer asked my father, Mister Elbures, if he had anything to declare... but I said our name to myself, opening my mouth wide for the organ blast of trilling my tongue for the drumroll of the r, All-vab- rrr-es (Alvarez 1). As the story continues each member of her family is assigned with many different American names, as people found it hard to pronounce their actual names. Her mother, father and two sisters all had a variation of names they went by,
Alvarez and her family have a lot of trauma considering there lives in the dominican republic and living under the dictator,through it all alvarez's parents raised a daughter who would share their story in a fashionable matter that told the story how it was.
The novella The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is about how a young hispanic girl discovers her identity. Esperanza’s family moves to a poor, predominantly hispanic town in Chicago. As she adjusts to her new neighborhood, she learns from her neighbors and from her own experiences in this new town. In particular, her traumatizing experiences with sexual assault have impacted her. Esperanza’s identity as an independent hispanic girl is shaped by her experiences in sexual assault because it presents her with the dangers many minorities face.
The stories of Junot Diaz feature various elements of social and personal issues that are highly prevalent in young Latinx men, primarily the compulsion and adverse effect of machismo, the poignancy of being an outcast in one’s community, and the lack of a father figure in a boy’s life. The first set of short stories prominently feature Ysrael, a Dominican boy whose face was disfigured by a pig when he was an infant. In “Ysrael”, he is the object of Yunior’s fascination, and the victim or Rafa’s (Yunior’s brother) torment.
Lola takes advantage of her deteriorating mother whose illness represents the declining hold of the norms over Lola. Since her mom “will have trouble lifting her arms over her head for the rest of her life,” Lola is no longer afraid of the “hitting” and grabbing “by the throat” (415,419). As a child of a “Old World Dominican Mother” Lola must be surrounded by traditional values and beliefs that she does not want to claim, so “as soon as she became sick” Lola says, “I saw my chance and I’m not going to pretend or apologize; I saw my chance and I eventually took it” (416). When taking the opportunity to distinguish herself from the typical “Dominican daughter” or ‘Dominican slave,” she takes a cultural norm like long hair and decides to impulsively change it (416). Lola enjoyed the “feeling in [her] blood, the rattle” that she got when she told Karen to “cut my hair” (418).
In Julia Alvarez’s Antojos, is about a young Dominican American women named Yolanda who is visiting her homeland and family in search of her antojos or cravings which leads her to not only cultural confrontation between American and Dominican ways but being able to reconnect with her native identity. Yolanda was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in America. She travels back to her homeland for the first time in seven years with a possibility of staying permanently and “…live here on her own terms” (Alvarez 1304). Although her extended family welcomes her, her aunts and cousins openly criticizes her appearance and American ways, as she silently critiques theirs. Yolanda has difficultly speaking Spanish, stumbling over her words and
El Olvido by Judith Ortiz Cofer, covers the dangers of forgetting yours roots and culture. It emphasizes the idea that forgetting where one comes from and creating adjustments in a new setting, may be dangerous to the person. Many people are able to relate to this text, but Cofer was able to direct this to the hispanic race, as the common spanish names Jesus, Maria and Jose are used. This poem made a mood that made us feel sad and worried for the person telling the poem.
In the Dominican Republic, General Rafael Trujillo 's dictatorship is being judged within the eyes of the four Maribal sisters. In the story "In the Time of the butterflies" by Julia Alvarez the four sisters that are all strikingly different, are contemplating on whether to follow along with the anti- Trujillo movement. Minerva being the most dominant one out of all the sisters, is first to follow through against Trujillo. Alvarez involves feminism, rhetorical and literary devises, and portrayed various themes in her novel. Along with showing the strong relationship, and the differences between the four sisters, they showed us readers the true meaning of family.
Esmeralda Santiago is able to intertwine her childhood memories and her experiences together with her family in order to communicate her life as Puerto Rican. Santiago depicts the importance of culture and customs in her memoir. Esmeralda was
There are approximately seven billion human beings in the world, each having their own culture and traditions. Coincidentally enough, “The Tequila Worm” is based on a small town in Texas, with a family who shares the same family traditions as mine. Viola Canales, the author, talks about the main protagonist, Sophia, and how she celebrates her culture. The making of Easter cascarones, celebrating Dia de Los Muertos, and her connection with her father, Sophia’s life is not so different from mine. Therefore, Sophia’s life and experiences are uncanny similarities to mine and that is what this essay will focus on.