Character representation in "How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents", "In the Time of the Butterflies", and ".Yo." by Julia Alvarez
Rasmussen, Renee Marie
Van Delden, Maarten
Master of Arts
In her first and third novels How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and ¡Yo!, Julia Alvarez writes about the Dominican-American experience through the lives of an immigrant family. Her personal understanding of the context results in a complex and believable set of hybrid characterizations. In her second novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, there is a purely Dominican context. In translating this history of the Mirabal sisters, Alvarez is unable to avoid the influence of her Dominican-American experience. Therefore, these characterizations are less believable, stereotypical and not reasonably justified given their context. Unconvincing and sudden moments of conversion are a further consequence of Alvarez's failure to correctly reflect Dominican culture in her translation of the story.
Caribbean literature; American literature