Did Miyax get to go to San Fransisco?
Miyax, also known as Julie, never does get to San Francisco. Early on in the story, Miyax pledges to run away from Alaska and from her "terrifying husband" to what she imagines will be the haven of San Francisco, which is where her pen pal lives. In her letters, Miyax's pen pal, Amy, repeatedly asks Miyax, "When are you coming to San Francisco?" San Francisco offers so much hope to Miyax primarily because Amy, her friend, is there. After reading one of Amy's letters, Miyax whispers to herself, "Daylight is spelled A-M-Y." The implication here is that San Francisco represents to Miyax the chance to metaphorically replace the darkness in her life with something brighter.
The more Amy writes about San Francisco, the more clearly Miyax is able to imagine it. The house in San Francisco grows "more real than [her] house in Barrow," and Miyax comes to know "each flower on the hill where Amy's house [stands], each brick in the wall around the garden, and each tall blowing tree." So although Miyax never actually makes it to San Francisco, a vivid impression of the place does exist inside of her head. In a sense, although she does not get to San Francisco, San Francisco does get to her.
At the end of the story, Miyax discovers that her father is still alive, and she decides to travel back to the village where he lives to live with him. In doing so, Miyax ultimately decides to embrace and reconcile herself to her own culture, rather than escape to the new, alien culture of San Francisco.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial