How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Response Essay
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents tells the story of powerful people struggling with becoming powerless in a new country. Two pivotal characters, Mr. and Mrs. Fanning, represent several aspects of American society, both good and bad. Some facets of America symbolized by the Fanning’s are the charity and great opportunity, the great cost of the opportunity, and the influence that sexuality has in society.
On the one hand, Mr. Fanning represents America’s sense charity and the possibility for great opportunities here, but on the other hand, he represents the price that must be paid for the opportunity. He is seen to be a rich and successful professional American man. He befriends the Garcia’s and helps them to find their way to America. He is now working toward locating meaningful employment for Mr. Garcia. Mr. Garcia sees in Mr. Fanning what he has lost, he sees a well-respected man with a high paying and meaningful career who can easily maintain the comfort and security of his family.
In contrast to this, Mr. Fanning also represents the price that must be paid to gain acceptance and opportunity in America. Mr. Fanning may be Mr. Garcia’s best, and only, chance to get a foot in the door so he must be very careful not to offend Mr. Fanning in any way. In the Dominican Republic the Garcia family is among the top families of the upper class. They are too dignified to ever ask for anything, and do not need to. In contrast, in America Papi is beholden to Mr. Fanning, which is in direct conflict with his sense of honor.
Mr. And Mrs. Garcia exhaustively prepare the girls for the night that the two families go out to dinner, “The procedures of this dinner out with the important Fanning’s had been explained to the girls so many times in the last few days” (Alvarez 164-165), because they are clearly very worried that the behavior of their daughters might be...