A Comparison: A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and Drown Essay

856 Words Jun 16th, 2014 4 Pages
Throughout the short story collections in Robert Butler’s A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and Junot Diaz’s Drown, the most prominent differences between these short stories were 1) poverty versus enough and 2) a healthy versus destructive home and family life and other surroundings.
1. Poverty vs. Enough
Drown illustrates a narrator growing up in a very low income Spanish home with the bare minimums to survive, “We lived south of the Cementerio Nacional in a wood-frame house with three rooms. We were poor. The only way we could have been poorer was to have lived in the campo or to have been Haitian immigrants, and Mami regularly offered these to us as brutal consolation…We didn’t eat rocks but we didn’t eat meat or beans,
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You couldn’t look him in the eye either—that wasn’t allowed” (Diaz, 26). The narrator expresses the lack of having his father as a part of his child hood; “I lived without a father for the first nine years of my life…I didn’t know him at all. I didn’t know that he’d abandoned us. That this waiting for him was all a sham” (Diaz, 69-70).
Further, the narrator describes deceit and exposure to infidelity at a young age while his father has an affair on his mother; “…we both knew Papi had been with that Puerto Rican woman he was seeing and wanted to wash off the evidence quick (Diaz, 23). I met the Puerto Rican woman right after Papi had gotten the van (Diaz, 34). I don’t remember being out of sorts after I met the Puerto Rican woman, but I must have been because Mami only asked me questions when she thought something was wrong in my life (Diaz, 42). I didn’t say anything to Mami either…Later I would think, maybe if I had told her, she would have confronted him, would have done something, but who can know these things” (Diaz, 43).
Most stories within A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain show narrators who are exposed to a gentler, more caring and moral home and family life in which there was not deceit or overpowering superiors. The narrators often make reference to their lineage of Catholic faith and
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