What Exactly Feels Julia Alvarez

Categories: Imagery

Julia Alvarez is one of the most important writers of the modern English language. She was born in New York but her family decided to move to their homeland in the Dominican Republic. Alvarez talks about her family going to her native land and the conflicts she had to face to fit in the new society in “The Exile”, “All American Girl”, “My first free summer” and “Antojos”. In her writing, Alvarez used different types of writing styles to persuade the reader and to get her point across by using sensory imagery, figurative language, and the choice of the narrator which helped the reader understand the story better.

Alvarez used a lot of figurative languages to give the reader a better understanding of the story. Her use of figurative language allows her story to come to life. An example of this is provided in “Antojos”: “A breeze was blowing through the grove, rustling the leaves, so they whispered like voices, sometimes indistinct”.

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This quote has personification because Julia gave leaves nonhuman characteristics stating that leaves whisper which made the description more vivid. The reader can tell that the weather is windy. It connects the reader to the setting of this quote and also allows the reader to react. Another type of figurative language Alvarez’s use of idioms and an example is from her short story, “All American Girls”: “I didn’t know if I could ever show genuine feelings in a borrowed tongue”(254). This quote proves that Alvarez's idea of using figurative language has a great impact on her writing.

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In this quote, Alvarez states that she can’t show her feelings from a borrowed tongue, which means she can’t pretend to show her real feelings by being fake. She can’t state the feelings that are not hers. Her use of idiom in this story took her writing to the next level because this idiom livened up the text and prompted the reader the think beyond just stating bowed tongue as two words. The reader had to think about what this idiom means in the context of the story. All the little details given by Alvarez allow the reader to be able to live the story. On the other hand, Alvarez also uses sensory imagery which allows her story to come alive. In “Antojos”, sensory imagery was used to help the reader feel the story using the senses. An example is when she says, “...the ones she ate right on the spot, relishing the slightly bumpy feel of the skin in her hand, devouring the crunchy, sweet, white meat”(261). Sight and taste are described in this quote. Alvarez used descriptive words like relishing, crunchy and sweet to help the reader visualize it. She provided all the little details that were helpful for the reader to understand the visualization of the fruit that the character was eating. Alvarez’s use of sensory imagery has made her writing stronger and more understandable by adding human characteristics that can be felt using the five senses.

Other than sensory imagery and figurative language, Alvarez's choice of the narrator also reflects her way of writing. She used different perspectives of the narrator. In some of her stories, she used the first person but some have the third person limited. In “My First Free Summer”, Alvarez states: “My mother flashed me the same look she used to give me when I’d ask why I had to learn English”(249). In this story, Alvarez told the story as a first-person narrator by explaining exactly how the author feels. She expresses the way her mother looked at her by saying that she gets that look when her mother is unhappy with her. These minor details help the reader be part of the story. Alvarez’s choice of narrator helps the reader understand what exactly is happening and how the characters react to it. Alvarez’s writing reflects her cultural background and has a lot of references to her native language and native home. Her use of sensory imagery, figurative language, and choice of narrator reflects her writing. Alvarez allows the reader to live in the story and be part of the character's life. She gives minor details that help the reader understand her story.

Updated: Aug 21, 2022
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What Exactly Feels Julia Alvarez. (2022, Aug 21). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-exactly-feels-julia-alvarez-essay

What Exactly Feels Julia Alvarez essay
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