How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Questions and Answers
by Julia Alvarez

Start Your Free Trial

In the novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, does the final episode with the kitten suggest anything about this process?

Expert Answers info

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

This is a fairly tough and challenging image to deconstruct.  Part of the reason is because it is so emotional and so powerful on an affective level.  I think that the first thing that has to be established is how one perceives Yolanda, in terms of her identity and sense of self.  Ask yourself if she ever feels completely "at home" in the homeland of the Dominican or in America.  How does she express this?  In terms of who she is, does she experience a sense of "home" in the liberalized America of the 1960s, or in the culturally tradition bound setting of Latino Catholicism?  Answering these questions might be able to explain why the entire kitten incident holds so much meaning.  She takes the kitten from the mother, against the advice of the neighbor, and when she takes the kitten in and is unable to stop its cries, she throws it out.  The "violation" of identity and space which happens is that same experience that lies at the center of her art, which means that the longing and lack of "home" that the kitten experiences which might be present in her own life and her own sense of identity.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial