This study examines Julia Alvarez's best-known works, García Girls and In the Time of the Butterflies, to explore the intertextuality within Dominican-American fiction through the vocabulary and methodology of trauma studies and witnessing. Alvarez's work indicates that traditional academic discourse about witnessing often translates trauma survivors into tourists by legally dispossessing them from the witnesses they could provide as they seek to assign blame and pass judgment on the source of their traumatic experience. This process of exclusion threatens to hinder the ability of Dominican-Americans to work through their shared, traumatic experience with the Trujillo regime. Furthermore, this study contends that as Alvarez privileges fiction and the imagination, instead of historiography, as the appropriate sites for witnessing, she invites other members of the collective to share their witnesses in an effort to populate the structure of the trujillato in order for the collective to better come to terms with their shared trauma.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Merrill, Andrew Mark, "The Poetics of a Dominican Holocaust and the Aesthetics of Witnessing" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 2995.
García Girls, Holocaust, In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez, trauma, witnessing