The author of My First Free Summer Julia Alvarez, wrote about the part of the summer she had in which she escaped the Dominican Republic for the U. S. I believe that Alvarez choose to write about this important time in her summer because it was a life threatening experience that most may not have been able to weather. Her father’s involvement in an underground plot and its result of surveillance from the “secret police”, the airport “security”, and also her position on America before and the ordeal, are all reasons why I believe this.
Her father was a part of a massive underground plot that involved many powerful Dominicans and the U. S. Her father’s involvement in the underground plot had repercussions that affected her entire family. It invoked the S. I. M. division of the DR’s to put them under surveillance. The so called “Secret” Police would wait outside in black Volkswagens blocking their driveway until morning, constantly leaving her sister and parents terrified of getting killed or being in danger (57-61).
And the worst experience his involvement gave was when the plot unraveled. More and more of the conspirators were being arrested, and it was necessary for them to flee country so that they wouldn’t get captured (54-55). When Alvarez’s family were in the airport waiting for the plane, a number of things occurred that lead me to believe my postulate?. One incident is when the air terminal fills with soldiers, checking papers, wielding machine guns, and taking people into interrogation rooms, some never returned (82-83).
Alvarez explained that this was all part of a cat and mouse game the dictator liked to play before arrests (84-87). Also another example is on lines (97-98) she describes when they finally board a plane for the U. S. after a long and fear filled wait, just as they thought that they home free. Soldiers stop and board the plane, checking faces, looking for them. But luckily they leave without finding them. Another reason why I believe my rationale is that her position on the United States changed from before the adversity and after.
In the beginning of the memoir she wrote about how it discontented her that she had to learn about the U. S. ’s 50 states, liberty, and that she had to learn it in English. (18-21) When she got the news from her mother that they would be leaving for the U. S. she was opposed to it. She knows everyone there speaks English (68-76). This is compared to when in the airport she realized why they are going to America, she wrote “A light came on in my head. If the light could be translated into words, instead, they would say: Freedom and liberty and justice for all .
I knew that ours was not a trip, but an escape. We had to get to the United States. ” (91-94). And finally when they reach America she fears the same as her parents “What if he doesn’t let us in? ”, “What if we have to go back? ”. (101-106) In conclusion, I believe that Alvarez choose to write about that time in her life because it was a life changing and life threatening experience. I believe this because of her fathers involvement in an underground plot, it repercussions, and how her ideals of America changed.