Analysis of 'Yolanda' by Oscar Casares

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“Yolanda” by Oscar Casares is a story narrated by a thirty-six-year-old man reflecting on his experiences during one summer in his youth. The story starts in present day before recounting the experiences of the summer he met Yolanda. She was the young wife of Frank, a controlling older husband, who moved in next door to the narrator when he was twelve years old. The narrator thinks Yolanda is beautiful and develops a huge crush on her, so he can’t help but listen to Yolanda and Frank’s fights and make-up sessions throughout the summer since their houses are so close together. His feelings for Yolanda grow when she spends time looking after him when he comes down with chickenpox. Ultimately, Frank and Yolanda have a huge fight and Yolanda ends up crawling through the narrator’s window into his bed for comfort and protection. The narrator also learns of Yolanda’s imperfections after that night, although now, as an adult, he isn't fond of recalling them. Casares’ central idea focuses on loss of innocence, the journey into the adulthood, and the longing to reclaim that innocence by going back to a time when life had not yet left its scars.

The central character is the narrator who tells the story, but his name is never revealed. This narrator is round since the reader gets to see not only what he thinks and feels as an adult, but also what he thought and felt as a teenage boy. He is also a dynamic character, changing from a young, innocent boy, into the adult narrator he is today reflecting back on his younger self. His journey into adulthood began when he meets Yolanda and develops his first crush. A person’s first crush is usually not forgotten because it is often this crush that crashes one into the world of adulthood and sexuality. Yolanda came to the narrator’s bed that night for shelter, wanting to escape the troubles in her life and feel safe, much like the narrator now goes back to that night to escape his own. Yolanda is a major

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