Sample Term Paper

Castells notes that the reverence that Yolanda feels for the countryside is not part of her heritage since she has mostly lived a shelter life. Rather it is an attempt to find the romanticized version of her homeland she has always sought, a quest which ends with her disillusionment.

While Yolanda has an antojo to discover her roots and her heritage, she soon finds herself a fish out of the water. Not only does drive north towards the coast in a car which is against Dominican customs and does not see her aunts viewpoints regarding the caste system in their country, she also gets a little boy named Jose beaten up by a guard for trying to help her. Since her actions are so far out of the norm for Dominican women, when the boy tells the guard of her situation he beats him for lying. Additionally when two men with machetes approach the car, she immediately panics, because she is not able to communicate with them to discern their intentions. This is followed by a realization that they simply want to help her. These in many ways are a symbolic attempt of Yolanda’s to return to the innocence of her childhood which she finds has been completely lost to the American culture she has grown into. Her continuous displacement is a reflection of the author Julia Alvarez’s own displacement in her childhood and the different names used represent the different sides of herself which were involved in each of her attempts to acclimate with her life. She is not only Yolanda, but also Yosita and also the English version of herself known as “Joe”, as well as “Yo” which means I in Spanish referring to the narrator and also Yoyo referring to the displacement between her new and old homes (Castells, 2001).

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