1. In "Daughter of Invention" by Julia Alvarez, why does the father give the speaker the gift that he does?
2. What is he saying with this gift?
3. What do the final paragraphs suggest about the continuing importance of writing in his daughter's life?
The father of Alvarez's "Daughter of Invention" has realized that his behavior the night before was over-reactive and rather cruel. For, as he listened to the daughter read her speech, written after she was inspired by Walt Whitman's words from "Song of Myself" in which he extols his individuality and freedom of self-expression, old fears recapture the father and his anxiety about the daughter's disrespect to the teachers,
... I would have realized my father had lost brothers and comrades to the dictator Trujillo. For the rest of his life, he would be haunted by blood in the streets and late night disappearances.
So when his daughter accuses him of being like the dictator Trujillo, the father becomes incensed and tears her speech into shreds. Later in the night, with her Mami performing "her greatest invention," the narrator and mother put together another speech, one that leaves the crowd inspired and the mother "proud of herself" when the daughter returns home the following day, telling her of "the success story of the assembly." Hearing this, the father realizes that his daughter who has spent so much time alone in her room composing "secret poems" in her new language has a talent that must be fostered. So, he purchases the typewriter.
2. His gift acknowledges his daughter's talent, and it signifies the father's support and encouragment.
3. Now, the daughter must continue writing. With such an modernized typewriter, there is no excuse for the girl not to write. Moreover, her work now will even look professional.