How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

in antojos, what does yolanda learn about her homeland on the trip, and how do her experiences compare to her life in america?

chapter 1 antojos

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The chapter focuses on the socio-economic disparity Yolanda sees in the Dominican Republic and the ways in which her status as part of a wealthy family and as an American-bred girl affect her relations with her family and people she encounters on the Island. To her, many Dominicans seem like prisoners trapped in their rigid social hierarchy. While visiting her wealthy relatives the Mirandas, she uses a simile to compare the guard in the enclosed estate to “a man locked in a strangely gorgeous prison” (14). The guard later hits José, not believing that a Dominican woman wealthy enough to own a car would be out picking guavas. This rigid set of expectations for how people of certain classes behave forms part of the structure that perpetuates strict division between classes. Yolanda, as an outsider to the country, observes this and other gestures with interest. She has not learned the cultural cues that teach her what different types of body language mean, and so sees their gestures with detachment.