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The Garcia Girls

             In the novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Julia Alvarez brings to mind an important topic in regards to all adolescents, worldwide, and that is a sense of identity. Teenagers, regardless of what culture or era they grow up in, always struggle to know who they are. The Garcia girls not only have to learn and discover who they are, but they have to do so in another culture, another world. The girls end up doing so quite well, but how they got there was not so easy. In her novel, Alvarez helps the reader obtain a well-balanced impression of each girl, in that the reader learns of each girl through the girl's interaction with her sisters as well as who she is apart from her sisters. However, in one character in particular, Yolanda, the author went into greater detail, helping the reader truly know her and opening the eyes of the reader to Yolanda's heart and raw spirit. In these ways, Alvarez depicts, through the course of her novel, the separate identities that these young girls came to adopt as their own. .
             Upon reading the novel, one might be confused at first as to from what perspective the stories are being told. The key to Alvarez's writing is her ability to change point of view without interrupting the general flow of her literature. Throughout the novel, the point of view changes from 3rd person omniscient to 1st person limited. However, in the chapters regarding all four girls, such as "A Regular Revolution", the point of view changes again, to 1st person omniscient. At first it catches the reader off guard because it's hard to distinguish who is narrating. Pronouns such as "us" and "we" are used in regards to the four girls, hence indicating that the narrator is one of the four. For example, "We didn't feel we had the best the United States had to offer" (107). However, the names of all four girls in the story are mentioned: "Fifi was on for smoking in the bathroom" (110), "Carla was on for experimenting with hair removal cream" (110), "Yoyo was on for bringing a book into the house- (110), and "Sandi was on when a visiting aunt and uncle dropped in- (111).

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