How The García Girls Lost Their Accents
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How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents | How The García Girls Lost Their Accents | Scoop.it
Fifteen tales vividly chronicle a Dominican family's exile in the Bronx, focusing on the four Garcia daughters' rebellion against their i...
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 SUMMARY~ Julia Alvarez's novel depicts the tales and stories of four sisters through the ages. Sofía, Carla, Yolanda, and Sandra experience the large cultural shift as their family moves from the Island to the States. The García family immigrated to the Bronx in New York from the Dominican Republic because of the dictatorship in the Dominican Revolution. The girls learn the ways of the Americans, stranger than what they are used to. While in America, the option to conform shines bright in their faces. The novel starts in the late 80s after the girls have grown up and molded into, essentially Americans. It moves through their stories retracing their steps bacik into the 50s. The audience will  appreciate the fifteen, humorous tales of Dominican girls out of their elements in both their old and new homes.

   REVIEW ~ I defintiely enjoyed this book. I personally learned that throughout the book there are challenges. During those challenges the sisters had each other. Some went through terrible heartaches and weaving relationships. Family though was always constant. The girls were vulnerable to the American ways but some ended up strong and others a bit damaged. They experienced 1960s and 70s America, which shaped them and molded them into wise women. They were not afraid to change after all. Yolanda tells us in Chapter four, " By then, I was a lapsed Catholic; my sisters and I had been pretty well Americanized since our arrival..." (Alvarez 87). My favorite character would have to be the sweet, mother Laura.

 THEME ~ The theme of the book is relationships. Some are good relationships and some are bad. The most prominent relationships are ones with boys, sisters, cousins, Americans, and Mamí and Papí. However the sisters' relationships with each other is always powerful. The theme of their strong sisterhood is evident throughout the stories as one learns the past of the García girls.

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Dominican Americans

Dominican Americans | How The García Girls Lost Their Accents | Scoop.it

 History, Immigration, Relations with other americans, Acculturation and Assimilation, Cuisine

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SUMMARY ~ This article discusses the Dominican Republic's culture and the relevant topic of immigration. Many Dominicans have assimiliated into the United States throughout history. A fairly large amount of them came during a time of political instability back home. Over a third of the country fled to the States during the 1960s.

CONNECTION ~ This is a connection to Julia Alvarez's book because the family of the novel is a portion to this one-third statistic. The family experienced the dictatorship and revolution firsthand. This greatly affects the girls in how they adapt to New York City culture. In a chapter called Snow, Yolanda reviews new things she is not used to. "Slowly she enunciated the new words I was to repeat: laundromat, corn flakes, subway, snow. " (Alvarez 166) The cultures are completely different, with consideration that the Dominican Republic was after all, an island.

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Government Structure of Dominican Republic

Student Resources In Context
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 SUMMARY ~ This article explains the type of government that the Dominican Republic has experienced both now and throughout history. It makes up two thirds of the Hispaniola island, the remaining third being Haiti. The country has existed since Columbus claimed the land for Spain in 1492. The main section that relates to the novel is the dictatorship of Trujillo. Trujillo ruled from the 1930 up until his assasination in 1961. He was a terrible leader who led a kleptocracy, wanting to increase his power, had his secret police operate torture camps, and killed Haitians. After his assasination, the country faced political instability then moved towards rebuilding the country into a representative democracy.

 CONNECTION ~ This relates to the novel because it is what the García family went through. While living on the Island, men with guns would come into their house questioning them and looking for Carlos, the father and husband. The girls were scared of Trujillo and his men. Yolanda in one chapter was very frightened. "Yoyo wants to cry, too, but she is sure if she does, the men will get suspicious and take her father away and maybe the whole family. Yoyo imagines herself in a jail cell." (Alvarez 200)                                                             

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In The Mix: Teen Immigrants (Excerpt)

In the Mix is the Emmy award winning PBS documentary series for teens. A record number of immigrants are being naturalized in America, especially Hispanic an...
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SUMMARY ~ This part of the documentary shows a teenager, named Luincy, that came to New York from the Dominican Republic in 1993. She discusses the terrible challenges she faced in a world completely different then the one she grew up in. She remembers how difficult it was to understand just one word the teacher spoke while in class. Luincy would feel discriminated, out of style, and lonely not being to able to talk to someone all day. After many moments of trying to grasp the English language, she began speaking in school. Despite Luincy's hardships, she has made friends and acclimated to American culture though still missing her childhood home.

CONNECTION~ The four García girls share similiar obstacles that Luincy faced. Luincy came as a young girl to the States and so did the García sisters. Both faced perhaps the hardest thing, the barrier of foreign languages. They were made of fun and picked on by classmates. They experienced the stereotypes first hand. They were in a completely different environment. "Then we moved to the United States. The cat disappeared altogether. I saw snow. I solved the riddle of an outdoors made mostly of concrete in New York." (Alvarez 289) The García girls and Luincy share these types of instances.

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Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic | How The García Girls Lost Their Accents | Scoop.it
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 SUMMARY ~ This picure displays the beauty of the Island that the García family lived on. While it has its beautiful beaches, it also has dangerous slums and neighborhoods. The Island is not the main setting of the book. The family moves to the Bronx in New york. This new American home is not only vastly culturally different but certainly geographically opposite.

 CONNECTION ~In one chapter of the book, the sisters are sent back home by Carlos and Laura (Papí and Mamí) to spend sometime in their homeland for the summer. The García family, though, lived in a nice house in a nice part of the Island. The girls while driving with their risky cousins around the Island late at night, encounter the dangerous parts, something they are not used to. This draws them in even more.Yet Papí and Mamí don't know this. The girls though sweet to their parents, have rebellious sides since exposed to America ways. They are used to the beatuiful safe areas, with guava trees that Yolanda craves. "On either side of the road are groves of guava trees. The boys who have gone ahead on foot are already pulling down branches and shaking loose a rain of guavas. " (Alvarez 17)

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American Chica

American Chica | How The García Girls Lost Their Accents | Scoop.it
In her father’s Peruvian family, Marie Arana was taught to be a proper lady, yet in her mother’s American family she learned to shoot a g...
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 SUMMARY ~ Marie Arana tells the stories of her unique, culturally opposite childhoods. Her father is Peruvian and her mother is American. For the Peruvian half she was taught to be a polite and obedient girl. On the other American side, she encounters uncivilized crazy Wyomingians. The parents, he's an engineer and she's the musician, have quite an interesting marriage while enduring cultural struggles. This is a true story of the child caught in the middle of it all.

 CONNECTION ~ The two books are related because they deal with children experiencing cultures out of their element. Marie Arana and the García sisters share stories of being shocked by the American fads. In one tale, Sandi tells of the night their family went out to dinner with the American Fanning couple, their new neighbors. Sandi remembers how her and her sisters had to wear tights, an unfamiliar piece of an outfit. "As Mami and Papi finished dressing, the girls watched, fussing at their tights, an uncomfortable new article of clothing." ( Alvarez 172)

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