Most of the characters in Garcia’s novel Dreaming in Cuban seem to be searching for their identities in some way or another and it is through the relationships between Celia, Lourdes, and Pilar that we get a stronger sense of this identity crisis. Celia believes in the revolution so strongly that she sees Lourde’s lack of interest as a betrayal. Lourdes on the other hand feels as if “Pilar is like her grandmother, disdainful of rules, of religion, of everything meaningful.” (168) Then we have Pilar who is simply a young woman who has yet to figure out her own identity. She feels “much more connected to Abuela Celia than to,” (176) her mom and it is not until she betrays her Abuela at the end of the book that we see how much her and her mother are alike.
Celia can only find solace in her nostalgia when she writes her love letters to Gustavoa and it is through these lettters that we can feel more of a connection with her and her thoughts. Lourdes tried to literally eat her way through becoming an American and abandoning her Cuban identity; but when she dances with Ivanito we see that she had been shutting out her memories of Cuba. “She felt beholden to the congas, to a powerful longing to dance. Her body remembered what her mind had forgotten.” (224) Pilar on the other hand has a little bit of both Celia and Lourdes personalities intertwined in her identity. She struggles with this because she wants to be herself; she does not want to be her mother or just her grandmother. She wants to be a product of herself and refuses to identify with just one identity.
In the end all three characters’ identities were a product of their past and their present. The Cuban revolution and their relationships with each other played a major role in how their lives unfolded whether they wanted to admit to this or not.
“Imagination, like memory, can transform lies to truths.” (88)