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Yolanda was the tomboy of the family and got herself into
trouble as a child. She is haunted by the memory of a kitten that
she kidnapped from its mother, as well as the fear she felt as the
family struggled to leave the Dominican Republic. Once in the United
States, she had difficulty interacting with men in sexual and romantic
situations, and eventually divorced her husband, John. This heartbreak
led to a mental breakdown and the inability to use language in a
meaningful way. This was a particularly traumatic experience since
language was a particularly important part of her life as a poet.
She returned to the Dominican Republic after her divorce in order
to reconnect to her cultural roots, though she finds she has forgotten
her Spanish and sticks out culturally. When faced with a challenging
situation, such as car trouble at night in the middle of nowhere,
she feels most comfortable in her identity as an English speaking
American woman, rather than a Dominican immigrant. She is the sister
who most enjoys taking on the role of storyteller, and she hopes
to unfold the past to better understand the trauma that underlies
the various struggles of the entire family.
Ace your assignments with our guide to How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents!