Don’t Forget Where You Came From
The Dominican Republic was ruled by one of the most ruthless dictators, Rafael Trujillo. Julia Alvarez’s father was involved in the underground movement to overthrow the country’s dictator, which was uncovered and forced the family to flee the country four months before the founders of that underground, the Mirabal sisters, were brutally murdered by the dictatorship. Determined to show her adult independence from her family, Yolanda returned to the Dominican Republic. Aware of the region’s fluctuating political climate, she must decide whom to trust and whom to fear. Longing for connection with one’s heritage can cause them to tell their story about experiences and challenges they faced.
Learning a new language without forgetting the old one is difficult. Yolanda asked “What exactly does it mean, antojo?” (1084). Her aunts were proven right: after so many years away, their niece was losing her Spanish (Alvarez 1084). Imagine speaking Spanish in your native country; then having to leave your country and learn a new language, in this case English. Learning English may cause one to find speaking the language much difficult than speaking Spanish. “She thought of something her teacher used to say to her when as a young immigrant girl she was learning English, “Language is power” (Alvarez 1089). Someone may confound both languages when speaking due to lack of not being able to perform the basic functions; like the past tense as they would stall on the basic phrases and accidently use words from the English language.
Not knowing who to trust can cause fear and changes one’s perspective on what to expect when revisiting their native country after many years. “She had been too frightened to carry out any strategy, but now … she could feel her pounding heart – and nodded” (Alvarez 1089). Walking or waiting by yourself can cause fear of natives and not knowing their intentions. “Yolanda had been sure that if any blood were going to be...
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