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What is parent and child conflict in "Daughter of Invention" by Julia Alvarez?

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Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In “Daughter of Invention” by Julia Alvarez there are several instances of conflict between parent and child. Laura Garcia, the wife of Carlos and mother to Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia, encounters conflict with her daughters because she is comfortable in their new home, and her comfort is contrary to what the daughters are experiencing. She pursues different courses in an attempt to establish a career in the United States and because of this, the time she spends with her daughters is quite limited. Another source of conflict between her and the girls is her parenting process: she wants the children to stay rooted in their Hispanic culture but also wants them to conform to the American lifestyle.

There is also the conflict between Carlos and his daughters, especially Sofia who is rebellious and wild. She is sent back to the Dominican Island as punishment and is only forgiven by her father after she bears him a grandson and heir apparent to the Garcia family.

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Kitty Sharp eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Julia Alvarez's "Daughter of Invention," the protagonist Cukita is in conflict with her parents, namely her father, because they have varying opinions on assimilating into American culture.  Cukita's mother is continually inventing tools that would make their lives more efficient.  Cukita respects this drive in her mother, but she also wishes that her mother would use some of her energy to become more "American."  In school, Cukita learns English with the help of the nuns and then dreams of becoming a writer.  When Cukita is chosen to write and recite a speech for school, her mother is very proud of her accomplishments and tries her best to read Cukita's speech in "perfect" English.  Cukita's father, however, thinks that a metaphor Cukita has used is disrespectful to teachers because he does not understand the phrasing.  He rips up the speech, and Cukita flees to her room.  The two do not understand each other's ideas and beliefs because the cultures in which they house their identities differ.

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