how does Tia Mimi get the narrator of "Liberty" to go to the US without her dog?

Tía Mimi gets the narrator to go to the United States without her dog, named Liberty, by telling her that she will find liberty there. When the narrator finds this statement puzzling, her aunt assures her that she will understand it once she arrives.

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In Julia Alvarez’s story “Liberty ,” the narrator is a girl who is waiting to move with her family from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Although the newly acquired dog named Liberty belongs to the whole family, the narrator feels an especially strong connection to the...

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In Julia Alvarez’s story “Liberty,” the narrator is a girl who is waiting to move with her family from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Although the newly acquired dog named Liberty belongs to the whole family, the narrator feels an especially strong connection to the animal that she compares to an “electric current of energy.” Because she accepts Liberty as one of the family, the narrator expects that he will move with them, but her mother is adamant that the dog stay behind. One of her aunts, Tía Mimi, tells her that in the United States she will find liberty and will understand the meaning of this cryptic comment.

When the family receives the dog as a gift, it is the narrator’s father who suggests the name Liberty as appropriate: not only was he was a gift from the American consul, but liberty is part of an important American phrase that includes “the pursuit of happiness.” The narrator, a mischievous tomboy, immediately feels she has her “double in another species” in the trouble-making puppy. This connection is further strengthened one day when she runs into some intruders in their yard, and having the dog with her probably prevents them harming her.

Understandably reluctant to leave the dog behind when their travel is finally arranged, she announces that she refuses to go without him. Resisting her mother’s orders, she finally listens to the aunt who tends to say “smart things.” Tía Mimi’s suggestion that she will find liberty in the United States matches with her father’s conception of the kind of life that awaits them.

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