Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent By Julia Alvarez

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After immigrating many assimilate into their new environments. In Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, it exemplifies the struggle of Yolanda, the third oldest Garcia sister, as she searches for a personal identity while feeling trapped between her cultural identity and her new Americanized self. Yolanda strived to fit into American culture, she was able to find a way to fit in, through the English language, writing poems. In her continued desire to fit in, Yolanda became stuck between her cultural identity and her new assimilated self. Failing to find a sense of belonging in the United States as Yolanda is unable to let go of her past. Seeking a place of belonging she went back to the Dominican Republic. Only to find out …show more content…

Yolanda struggled to find a sense of identity, always feeling like an outcast. As a way to reconnect to her Dominican identity, Yolanda traveled back to the Dominican Republic. Once Yolanda had arrived, she realized that she did not belong there either. “She has been too frightened to carry out any strategy, but now a road is opening up before her. She clasps her hands on her chest – She can feel her pounding heart – and nods. Then, as if the admission itself loosens her tongue, she begins to speak, English, a few words, of apology at first, then a great flood of explanation.” (Alvarez,) Yolanda was left stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire when she was trying to get guavas when two men went up to her to help. Yolanda, overcome with fear, started to speak in English. Ironically Yolanda’s trip was to reconnect with her cultural roots by going to the Dominican Republic, yet she feared interacting with anyone outside of her family. Feeling more comfortable when she was pretending to not know how to speak Spanish, and when the men had assumed she was an English-speaker only. By remaining close to her American identity and sticking to using English was she able to find comfort in her journey through the Dominican …show more content…

Mundin, Yolanda’s cousin, when they were young, demanded inappropriate requests from both Yolanda and Sofia, to show him that they were both girls. As Munding demanded, “Fifi had caught on and lowered her pants and panties to her ankles. I gave my cousin a defiant look as I lifted up my cowboy skirt, tucked it under my chin, and yanked my panties down. I steeled myself against his intrusive glances. But all Mundin did was shrug his shoulders with disappointment.” (Alvarez, 235). Although Yolanda was against Mundin’s request, she did what he had demanded. Since Mundin as a man was in a more powerful position in their Dominican society, Yolanda had no other choice than to submit. In Yolanda's early life, she had always been obedient to the men in her life, especially her father because that is what her Dominican culture taught her. That in order to be a good woman, she must be submissive to the men in her culture. However, after moving to the United States, Yolanda saw more for herself. Wishing to detach herself from Dominican standards of women, she started to express herself through writing poems. Through these poems, Yolanda was able to go against Dominican cultural values and see the world through a different lens, a more creative and liberal view, where she was able to express herself for her true

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