Summary: How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents By Julia Alvarez

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n the Julia Alvarez novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, the struggles the sisters experience due to moving from the Dominican Republic to America are the most influential factors in their internal conflicts in their lives. The mixture of the two opposing cultures creates numerous obstacles that are pivotal in the development of the Garcia family. If the Garcia family did not move, the sisters would never experience situations that lead to intimacy problems, cultural conflicts, or identity crises. Yolanda’s intimacy issues largely stems from the encounters she had with Rudy in “The Rudy Elmenhurst Story”. Yolanda falls for Rudy’s casual and easygoing demeanor, which coincidentally also happens to be the thing that keeps Yolanda from…show more content…
The constant influences of different cultures, especially at such a young and impressionable age, will undoubtedly create confusion as to what behavior is expected from the girls. The sister’s parents, Mami and Papi, are very strict and traditional due to their upbringing and constant fear of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Whereas Americans, such as Rudy and his family, are trusting, accepting and generally aren’t as traditional in comparison to the Dominican Republicans. But as the Garcia girls are exposed to the American lifestyle, they become confused and slightly resentful towards their culture hence the underage drinking, smoking, and promiscuous activities mentioned in other chapters. This resentment towards their culture most likely stems from the strict rules their parents enforce and the urge the girls feel to “fit in” with American teenagers. Regardless of the efforts to blend into American culture, the girls realize that they do not seem to fully fit the mold of either culture. Specifically in “The Rudy Elmenhurst Story”, Yolanda states that “I saw what a cold, lonely life awaited me in this country. I would never find someone who would understand my peculiar mix of Catholicism and agnosticism, Hispanic and American styles.” (99). This passage is a pivotal moment in Yolanda’s life because it establishes the moment when love no longer has the same meaning as it did before. The once “fairytale” like expectations on relationships and love came tumbling down as reality set in. This shifting of tones towards love could symbolize many different things; it could symbolize the the transformation of innocent, naive Yolanda into skeptical, emotionally unavailable Yolanda, or the possible life that lies ahead of her and her constant longing for intimacy, or it could even be foreshadowing the possible growing apart that her once close knit family will experience. The utilization of
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