Yolanda

1321 Words6 Pages
Being different from others sometimes creates a desire for a person to change oneself. In the novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez, the Garcia girls are stuck between America and the Dominican Republic, the two main settings of the novel. The girls are all dragged out of their homeland and thrown into an environment they thought would be welcoming. Even though they specifically come to America to live the so called “American Dream,” they hit some obstacles. When the girls see how different American culture is, and how much they do not fit in, they become self-conscious. They ultimately try to change themselves to assimilate to American behaviors. Out of all of the girls, this mainly relates to Yolanda because she…show more content…
On the other hand, she wants to stay attached to her background. They are both two very apparent parts of her life, that both try to get her on their end of spectrum. Whenever Yolanda wants to go out and do regular American things, her parents forbid her from being in line with American ideals: “The problem boiled down to the fact that they wanted to become American and their father … would have none of it” (Alvarez 135). Mami and Papi are confusing her because they sent her and her sisters to America to iron out their accents, but they, mainly Yolanda, still want them to stick to Dominican ways. Her parents both hold Yolanda back, but also push her forward to make the American dream a reality. 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. Because of this, they find it hard to juggle two different…show more content…
Identity has a lot to do with how people treat others because another person’s judgement can shape one’s views of themselves. Yolanda has two very different lifestyles placed in front of her and she feels obligated to adjust to both of them. She does not accept the fact that she is a Dominican immigrant and cannot completely adjust to the American ways. However, because America is very different from what she is used to, she steers to that end of the spectrum. Even though she chooses to embrace the American side of her, she hits some bumps along the way, that alter her feelings about herself. One should realize that personality, or in this case, identity, cannot be replaced, no matter how strong the desire to be like others is. For example, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, will still be as sly and deceiving as it always was because the new front does nothing but change how it looks on the outside. This relates to Yolanda because she tries to fit in with the American ways, but fails because she does not realize that her roots are there to stay. Overall, trying to shape oneself into something else, can be a hard process that can and will lessen
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