Study Guide

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents Narrator Point of View

By Julia Alvarez

Narrator Point of View

Third Person, Omniscient; First Person, Central Narrator

It's tricky to try to identify the narrator in this novel, because each chapter is told from a different perspective. In fact, some chapters contain more than one perspective. So confusing. Most of the time, the narrator speaks in the third person, and seems to have complete access to every single one of the García family's collective brain cells.

A few chapters are told in the first person. Fifi gets a section of "The Blood of the Conquistadores." And so does the maid, Chucha; the only non-family member to narrate part of the novel. Sandi narrates "Still Lives." And Carla tells the story of "An American Surprise." "A Regular Revolution" is told in the first person, plural, using the pronoun "we." That's right—it's told by the collective voice of the four García girls.

All these perspectives, and especially the use of the collective voice "we," conspire to give us the feeling of this sort of hivemind narrator. That's right—the narrator is like a hive of bees. The collective unconscious. The Borg. Star Trek reference, anyone? Up top.

The group-speak of the book really emphasizes the importance of the family as a unit. Check out our discussion of the theme of family in this novel.

But the most chatty of the narrators is definitely Yolanda. "The Rudy Elmenhurst Story," "Snow," "The Human Body" and "The Drum" are all told from her first person perspective, which we think bulks up our argument that Yolanda is the protagonist of the novel. Check out our discussion of this in the section on "Character Role Identification" for more of that analytic goodness.

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