When forming an identity, it mainly has to do with the environment
or setting a person grows up in. Forcefully having a switch in setting can cause a struggle in creating identity. In the novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez Yolanda, having to deal with multiple shifts within the setting, is in search of her identity. This includes trying to blend in and being forced to grow up faster, which is reality for her. Alvarez uses the setting of the Dominican Republic, boarding school, and New York in the 1960s to demonstrate the struggle of identity 5showing how it impacts Yoyo's characterization.
The setting of the Dominican Republic impacted Yoyo's characterization because she is more innocent in her homeland. When Mamita would come from her trips everyone would receive gifts, "I got a book of stories in English I could barely read but with interesting pictures of a girl in a bra and long slip and a little cap on her head that had a tassel dangling down..Tia Mimí explained explained the toys was called The Human Body" (Alvarez 229 and 230). Yoyo's innocence caused her to not know what the image was so Tia had to explain it to her. Being on the Dominican Republic made Yolanda more pure since she didn't understand much. Yoyo is examining the doll, "But I was surprised that along with his other organs, this boy didn't have what I called 'a peeper'" (Alvarez 230). Yoyo didn't understand much about the body yet was curious. Her innocence made her less knowing and more interested.
The setting of boarding school impacts Yoyo's characterization because she becomes rebellious and mature. The four girls are in boarding school, "For a brief giddy years, I was the one with the reputation among my sistersof being the wild one." Yoyo was
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