I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

by

Erika L. Sánchez

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Tía Fermina Character Analysis

Julia’s aunt, and Amá’s sister. Fermina is a kind, sensitive woman who dotes on Julia—and who eventually reveals to her the horrible secret about Amá’s rape and Olga’s true parentage in hopes of helping Julia to better understand who her mother is, where she’s coming from, and why she’s so overprotective of Julia.

Tía Fermina Quotes in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

The I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Tía Fermina or refer to Tía Fermina. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Knopf edition of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter published in 2017.
Chapter 22 Quotes

My body feels like it weighs a thousand pounds. I picture my mother’s face streaked with tears and dirt, my father bowing his head in defeat. “And Olga? What about Olga? She was . . . She was ...” I can’t get the words out.

Tía Fermina clasps her hands to her chest and nods. “See, mija, that’s why I want you to know. So when you and your mother fight, you can see where she’s come from and understand what’s happened to her. She doesn’t mean to hurt you.”

Page Number: 274-275
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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Tía Fermina Character Timeline in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

The timeline below shows where the character Tía Fermina appears in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 19
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
...and extended family who have come to greet her. Among them are her mother’s sisters, Fermina and Estela, who wrap her in hugs and call her sweet nicknames. Julia is overwhelmed... (full context)
Chapter 20
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Fermina’s oldest daughter Belén is “the town hot girl.” She is not much older than Julia... (full context)
Chapter 22
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
That night, Julia sits with Tía Fermina, Tía Estela, and Tío Chucho in Fermina’s backyard. Julia admires the stars, and admits she... (full context)
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
The next morning, Julia goes with Tía Fermina to a small market three towns over to buy some special cheese. On the ride... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
Fermina tells Julia that there’s a lot she doesn’t understand about her mother, then goes quiet... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
The next day, Tía Fermina performs a cleansing ritual on Julia to get rid of the bad luck and energy... (full context)