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    What differences do you find between Negi and the girls?

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    "When I was Puerto Rican" by Esmeralda Santiago and "How the Garcia girls lost their accent" by Julia Alvares

    The question is:

    1. What differences do you find between Negi and the girls?

    Critical thinking question to help us compare characters in 2 separate novels. I need help because I have trouble with Latin American Writers.

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    The extraordinary richness of immigrant writings shines through in this list of works by writers who live or lived in New York State and wrote about the immigrant experience. Compelling descriptions of hardship and struggles, hopes and dreams, old world traditions and new cultures resonate through the novels, short stories, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and memoirs presented here. All books are appropriate for adult collections; those with an asterisk will be enjoyed by young adults as well. Several titles have come out in more than one edition - we've
    Included publisher and date of an edition currently in print. SusanGitman

    1. What differences do you find between Negi and the girls?

    Julia Alvarez and Esmeralda Santiago write about their personal migration experiences in How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents and When I was Puerto Rican. Although Negi and the Garcia girls have many things in common, they also have some main points of differences.

    Negi came from a background of poverty and hardship whereas the Garcia Girls cam from a world of privilege.

    Negi obeyed her parents (i.e., and her mother after her parents separated) and enjoyed her Puerto Rican heritage (i.e., meals, stitch work, etc.) whereas the Garcia girls rebelled against and were disobedient to their parents. The sisters gradually learn about boys, English, American culture and how to get along with their parents. Whereas Negi's mom and dad had a love hate relationship, but still Negi obeyed them.

    Whereas the four Garcia sisters who emigrate from the Dominican Republic to the United States, lost their Spanish language and culture before they fully acquire fluency in English, Negi and her family seemed to keep a little of both cultures (i.e. hybrid).

    In contrast, the four sisters seemed to try too hard to melt into one homogenous nation, and lose those distinctive characteristics, whereas Negi seemed to have a stronger personality to stay between the two cultures without loosing her distinctiveness. However, all women were determined to rise above their present circumstances. For example, after fleeing a life of privilege in the Dominican Republic, four sisters learn that adapting to life in America can be overwhelming and perplexing. Their anger often erupts when they are bullied and called "spics," but they are determined to overcome the low expectations of their adopted culture. However, Negi had a different way than they four sisters of rising above her circumstances. She was strong and determined to go to University and she did.

    In fact, Negi, while remaining very much a part of the world she left behind, she faced a new language, a new culture, and new expectations and codes of conduct bravely. Santiago paints a beautiful picture of Negi's life enjoying her past heritage such as the spices and herbs emanating from the special Puerto Rican dishes her mami prepared, and her abuela delicately stitched her needlework. Negi took the best of both worlds's forming a type of hybrid culture. On the other hand, the four sisters, lost most of their own cultural heritage (i.e., melting pot).

    FINAL COMMENTS This list is by no means exhaustive, but seems to touch on some of the main points. See information below as well.


    Information and sources:

    Racism in this country is an obstacle to many immigrants or migrants who dream the American dream. At times, racism makes the dream appear unattainable. The three groups of immigrants covered in this unit are people of color: the Cubans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans are a "mezcla" of Spanish, Native American (Siboney, Taino-Arawak) and African. As such, these recent immigrants have not received a warm welcome in comparison to earlier immigrants. As will be developed below, other factors besides race have affected the welcome received by the Cubans, the Dominicans, and the Puerto Ricans. (socioeconomic status, language, and political relationship with the United States.) Myths and Stereotypes about the Hispanic immigrants http://www.cis.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1996/4/96.04.03.x.html

    In 1960, at the age of ten, Julia Alvarez arrived in the United States from the Dominican Republic. Uprooted from her native country, culture, and language, Alvarez began writing and made language her homeland. Even as a child, she had a passion for listening to stories. As an immigrant, books provided a world for her in which she did not feel isolated. Although coming from a traditional family where she received no encouragement to pursue a ...

    Solution Summary

    Referring to the characters of two books: "When I was Puerto Rican" by Esmeralda Santiago and "How the Garcia girls lost their accent" by Julia Alvares, this solution responds to the question: What differences do you find between Negi and the Garcia girls?