Castells in his analysis is succesful in presenting both sides of the story when exploring the topic of immigrant integration in the United States. In order to accomplish this he makes use of Rumbaut’s and Firmat’s concept on this matter. Perez Firmat presents the viewpoint that the ‘1.5 generation’ has the advantage of being tied to ‘neither culture’ (Castells 35). The novel however shows that the Garcia girls are not capable of benefiting from this status of being tied to both cultures. Rather they suffer through cultural and linguistic misunderstandings which causes the old ties to their culture to be all but destroyed (Castells, 2001).
Luis represents this point of the displacement which the girls experienced and loss of their lives by summing it up in the imagery of “the drum” according to Luis where the kitten represents their violent removal from their homeland and how their subsequent experiences left them injured and feeling abandoned (Luis, 2000).
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