Julia Alvarez's Theme Of Freedom In Before We Were Free

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In the novel Before We Were Free, Julia Alvarez explores the theme of freedom, in more depth, how freedom comes at a cost. The main character, Anita, and her family are forced to leave their country to escape their dictator, Rafael Trujillo, of the Dominican Republic in order to be free. Although, nothing this serious would be executed without a cost. Lucinda, Anita’s older sister, is forced to choose between accepting Turillo’s proposal to be his lover or go to the states and hope for her family to meet her there. Mami says that she doesn’t want her daughter to work as a maid in America, but then Papi cuts her off to say, “Would you prefer she be Mr. Smith’s little querida?(pg.69 p.6)”. Papi knows that the risk of sending Lucinda off to America …show more content…

In search for a better life outside of the Dominican Republic, Anita’s whole family tries to move to America. One day sitting in her room, Anita look out her window to see no one left on the compound. Anita explains, “I look out the door and down the dark driveway. The whole flock of our family has fled. Only Mami and Chucha and I are left (pg.100 p.9).”Her whole family has gone to America to be free, leaving everything behind. For them, the cost of leaving everything behind is less important than not having freedom. Under Trujillo's rule, no one in the Dominican Republic was free. Papi and some of his friends have been planning on assassinating the dictator to ensure their families a life of freedom in the future. They end up going through with the plan, and when they come back, Mami asks him if it was appropriate to celebrate. “It is true Carmen, true, true, true. After thirty one years, we are free again! (pg. 98 p. 5)”, he shouts with enthusiasm. Although Papi did an awful thing, murdering someone, he did it for his family and everyone else in the country that was being abused but Trujillo's power.

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