Julia Alvarez: A Critical Companion by Silvio Sirias

By Silvio Sirias

Julia Alvarez made her mark at the American literary horizon with the 1991 ebook of her debut novel How the Garcia women misplaced Their Accents, a narrative in response to her personal family's bicultural reports. This serious significant other introduces readers to the lifestyles and works of Dominican American author Alvarez and examines the thematic and cultural matters that run via her novels. complete literary research is equipped for every, together with old context for the factually established works, for the duration of the Butterflies (1994) and within the identify of Salome (2000). a short biography and a bankruptcy at the Latino novel aid scholars to appreciate the non-public and literary impacts in Alvarez's writing.

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She fears the repercussions her family may experience after she tells a general in Trujillo’s army that her father owns a gun. The revelation that she informed the general of this sends the family into a panic and she feels responsible, in her young mind, for placing her father in danger. Because of this, she wishes for her own death. She learns the hard way, and at an early age, that the telling of stories can be a serious, even deadly, business. This crucial moment in Yolanda’s development as a character will later be explored in greater depth and play a major role in Alvarez’s third novel, ¡Yo!.

The closing chapter reveals that it has, in fact, been Yolanda who has controlled the narrative all along. She has invented the viewpoints of all the other characters. She has put words into their mouths, which we later find causes much resentment and is a major feature in the first chapter of Alvarez’s third novel, ¡Yo!. And so, the reader is left to wonder about the magic inherent in the DominicanAmerican’s use of the point of view. It constitutes, indeed, a formidable narrative sleight of hand.

Throughout the course of the work, Yolanda’s viewpoint emerges as the most persistent. Yolanda is the only character who uses the first-person voice more than once. In fact, she uses the first-person viewpoint in five of the novel’s fifteen chapters. The closing chapter reveals that it has, in fact, been Yolanda who has controlled the narrative all along. She has invented the viewpoints of all the other characters. She has put words into their mouths, which we later find causes much resentment and is a major feature in the first chapter of Alvarez’s third novel, ¡Yo!.

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