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Exile by Julia Alvarez
Transcript of Exile by Julia Alvarez
In the poem, "Exile", the narrator (Julia Alvarez) recalls her family’s risky escape from their dangerous life in the Dominican Republic. Fortunately, they arrive safely in New York City where one day, she and her father gaze at a display in a Macy's window. The display shows an American father and daughter dressed for the beach. In the window’s reflection, Alvarez and her father see themselves as a sharp contrast to the privileged, successful, upper-class American (who can afford to shop at Macy’s) and the almost mirror opposite of the out-of-place
Julia and her Papi.
The Dominican is governed by a cruel dictator, Rafael Trujillo. Julia's father tries unsuccessfully to overthrow him and is sentenced to execution and his family's exile. They flee to America to escape her father's execution.
The characters are never named but represent the universal immigrant experiences of exile and how immigration is not always voluntary.
Julia Alvarez present day (she was 10 when she fled to America)
The poem begins in the Dominican Republic and ends in New York City.