The theme of separation is an important development in the novels Hunger of Memory and How the Garcia Girls lost their Accent. The novels deal with separation differently. For Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez, the separation allows Richard to move from the private world to the public world. Here, separation is a movement for a solution, which is citizenship. In How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent by Julia Alvarez, the separation is an effect from Antojo.
Richard Rodriguez immediately recognizes the separations in his early life. He considers the inside of his house to be private and the outside of his house to be public. His family and the Spanish language belong to his private society. It contains a feeling of intimacy and a sense of belonging.
The los gringos, school and the English language are associated with the pubic society. Several other kinds of separation emerge from this separation of public and private society. There are separations of sound and word, female and male, and reason and affection. Richard believes it is natural to move from one separation into another. He needs to do this in order to move from the private to the public society. This movement is voluntary by Richard and forced by his parents. It is done to help Richard s education. It will give him better opportunities in the United States. Speaking only English at home initiates the movement, instead of speaking Spanish. Ultimately, Richard can have a sense of belonging to the public world. He will become a citizen.
Separation causes an uncertain future in How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent. It is the result of Antojo. Julia Alvarez describes Antojo as a mysterious and powerful force. It causes both separation and a return to family. In the beginning of the novel, Yolanda returns to the Dominican Republic even after she is no longer forced to go there by her parents. She is drawn back to the island by the manifestation of Antojo. There are separations between Yolanda and John, the sisters and the parents, and the sisters and the island. These separations are also the result of Antojo. In all separations, the Antojo will create an uncertain future. In the characters in the novel are aware of Antojo. In beginning, the Antojo is described by the Aunts and the maid. Near the end of the novel, the father is hiding in the closet from the secret police. He prays to a saint, who is a figure of this mysterious force because there is going to be an uncertain future. The family will have to move from the Dominican Republic to the United States due to a political exile.
The theme of separation is developed differently in the novels Hunger of Memory and How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents. For Richard, a movement of separation gives a solution. For Alvarez, the separation is an effect from Antojo. Richard Rodriguez s separation results from the movement from the private to the public. According to Richard, separation is a good and necessary thing, but there is also a cost for it. The separation allows Richard to move away from the family into a new family. This new family is being a citizen. So, the movement between the separation is a necessary step in order to gain citizenship. He initially views the development as a positive but he sadly realizes there is cost toward citizenship. He loses a private individuality by being assimilated. In return, he gains a public individuality. For Alvarez, the separation is an effect from Antojo. There are many instances of separation in the novel. All separations lead to Antojo making an uncertain future for the characters. It is unclear whether Antojo is a positive or negative force, but it is clear that all the characters are at the mercy of Antojo.