Student Question

What are some characteristics of Yolanda in ¡Yo!?

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Written by Julia Alvarez, ¡Yo! is told from the point of view of a number of different characters. These characters all know the central protagonist of the novel, Yolanda Garcia—Yo, who they discuss throughout the book. As such, the reader is given a derived account of Yo’s personality.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Yo came to the United States when she was young. She works as an English teacher and a successful writer and lives with her husband in New Hampshire. She is described by many of the novel’s characters as being compassionate, empathetic, generous, and somebody who likes to be able to help people when she can. For example, she gives Jose a job.

However, not all of the other characters describe Yo in such positive terms. For example, Lou Castellucci, a former student of Yo’s, who wrote a story which Yo then plagiarized. Although Yo is kind and caring, she is also a vulnerable character with a number of insecurities.

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