What is Alvarez saying about the Dominicans in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents?

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jfwheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of the people, Alvarez is very affectionate and loyal.  To Trujillo and his henchmen, she is justifiably critical, exposing the corruption of the regime and its malevolent leader. 

As the Garcia girls try to assimilate into American life, there is plenty of nostaglia to be had for their homeland as evidenced in the opening chapter, when Yoland returns to the island for a visit:

The late sun shifts through the bogainvillea trained to climb the walls of the patio...Tia Carmen's patio is a gathering place for the compound.  She is the widow of the head of the clan and so hers is the largest house.

It is clear as the novel progresses how Trujillo's regime has brought peaceful life in the Dominican to a halt.  In this scene from Part III (Blood of the Conquistadors) we see the door-to-door terror that exists on the island:

...the doorbell rings and Chucha lets in these creepy looking men...They wear dark mirror glasses.  What catches Yoyo's eye are their holster belts and the shiny black bulge of their guns sticking through. 

(They are) some kind of secret police in plain clothes...who could be anywhere at anytime...


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