In Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Dominican men are judged via their embodiment of the hyper-masculine ideals and a number of women they sleep with. Outliers such as Oscar de Leon are therefore criticized, humiliated and emasculated by fellow members of society. Diaz characterizes Oscar’s plight as his struggle to lose his virginity: a major accomplishment of the Dominican, male ideal. Yunior, on the contrary, is the epitome of a Dominican man. He is able to sweep women off their feet and sleep with them. He constantly brags about his sexual conquests and encourages Oscar to pursue a lifestyle which would make him appealing to women. This machismo culture is constantly reinforced by Yunior and other male members of …show more content…
It seems as if both face an inescapable, misfortunate fate simply due to their gender.
Orphaned by previous foster parents, the audience is to set to perceive Beli with pity. Beli’s misfortune starts with her birth, as Yunior narrates, “I know it’s taboo to make this accusation, but I doubt that anybody inside the family wanted her to live, either.” (Diaz 252). Aside from the inherent colorism in the Dominican culture, Beli is seen as a lesser human being due to her skin color. As she transitions into her adolescent years, Beli desires to find love but many boys her age seem to ignore her because of her undesirable characteristics. The reader is set to connect with Beli and learns the rationale behind her domineering attitude. During one summer, however, Beli, experiences a rapid change in her physical features and immediately becomes the talk of the town. The narrator emphasizes the change in the size of her breasts as many women envy and wish to possess such sexual prowess. Her transformation subjects to objectification- a common occurrence in Dominican patriarchal culture. The sudden usage of the word “tits” and the narrator’s description of the men’s intention reinforces the dominance of the inescapable hyper-masculine male culture. While it may seem that her fate is predetermined by the men in society, a closer analysis reveals that she is actually in control. Beli’s acquired body parts indeed turn her into prey by
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is not a happy book. The Author, Junot Diaz, does a great job fooling the reader into believing the story is about the De Leon family, specifically Oscar who is an over weight nerd trying to find the love of his life, but due to a family “fuku” or curse Oscar is having a lot of trouble doing so. Instead, the story actually portrays the dark history of the Dominican Republic under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Upon reading the stories of Oscar’s relatives the reader feels a powerful message of fear and oppression due to the actions of the Trujillo regime. Even after the demise of
Diaz strategically uses Yunior to narrate a majority of the novel. Though Yunior’s identity as the narrrater was not revealed till almost the very end of the novel, Yunior gave a very descriptive and satirical version of the life of Oscar Wao. Yunior was Oscar’s roommate at Rutgers, the boyfriend of Oscar’s sister, Lola, and the reader
Castillo demonstrates injustice in patriarchy by using symbolism. In the novel, Caridad is cheated on by her boyfriend Memo. Caridad starts to heavily drink after work, and while doing so she decides that Memo isn’t the only man she wants to give her love to. Following the drinking, Caridad begins to have meaningless sex with the random men she meets at bars. One
Beli did not rush herself, she was reserved and after all she did not want history repeating itself. But it did not take long for her to fall in love with the Gangster. “Beli in love! Round Two! But unlike what happened with Pujos, this was the real deal: pure uncut unadulterated love…” (Diaz page 125).
In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the reader gets a sense of what the expectations are of Dominican men and women. Junot Díaz uses Oscar in contrast to the other male characters to present the expectations of the Dominican male. On the other hand, Díaz presents the women in the text, especially Belicia, La Inca, Lola, and Jenni, as strong characters in their own rights, but the male characters, with the exception of Oscar, have a desire to display their masculinity to maintain power over these women. It would be unfair to say that the women bring the abuse unto themselves, but rather it is their culture that makes the abuse acceptable and almost to a certain extent—expected.
As children grow up in a dysfunctional family, they experience trauma and pain from their parent’s actions, words, and attitudes. With this trauma experienced, they grew up changed; different from other children. The parent’s behavior affects them and whether they like it or not, sometimes it can influence them, and they can react against it or can repeat it. In Junot Díaz’s “Fiesta, 1980”, is presented this theme of the dysfunctional family. The author presents a story of an adolescent Latin boy called Junior, who narrates the chronicles of his dysfunctional family, a family of immigrants from the Dominican Republic driving to a party in the Bronx, New York City. “Papi had been with
When you see someone characterize someone else as a nerd, what do you generally think about this person, what if this same person is characterized as a geek? Most people generally hold a negative connotation with one of these titles, some see it as the geek and some see it as the nerds. Oscar De Leon and Yunior from Juinot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao can be classified as members of either of these groups in some ways. There are ways that they fit in and ways that they don’t but first, in order to see how Oscar and Yunior fit into the geek or nerd classifications or not the criteria must be defined.
Yunior represents the stereotypical Dominican male raised in the states, yet he battles with self-definition as he comes to terms with who he is on the inside as opposed to who he is purportedly supposed to be on the outside. According to the Dominican culture, males are the picture of masculinity, known for their womanizing ways. The central conflict within Yunior is his love for the Dominican social norm versus his love for the things in his life that represented nerdiness. Yunior lifted weights and ran to keep himself physically fit and was sexually promiscuous, at the same time, he enjoyed and engaged in nerdy banter with Oscar about science fiction genre, anime, fantasy and even writing. Yunior and Oscar share the same interests, which Yunior would never admit to anyone else, which is clear when Yunior says,
“Aguantando” means holding on. In the very first paragraph we see how important it is for the narrator, Yunior, to hold on to his father’s memory. Yunior lives with his mother (Mami), grandfather (Abuelo) and brother (Rafa). They live in a house where anything of value, including furniture, food, clothing and even Mami’s Bible is stained from a leaky roof. As a Hispanic male, believe me when I tell you there is nothing more sacred than Mami’s Bible in that home. Yet it is clear how important Papi’s pictures are because they’re always in a plastic sandwich bag to keep them dry. It’s also clear that Papi leaving was the
As it unfolds in "The Golden Age" section, Oscar is part of a Dominican-American family that lives in Paterson, New Jersey. As a child he is pushed forward to the opposite sex by his mother, which is very proud about his early signs of virility. This is seen as one of the standing characteristics of Dominican males. Further on, we watch the decline of Oscar's success with women as he gains weight and he deepens himself in literature and isolation. This is caused by Maritza's rejection which affected him profoundly.
In the story, Oscar goes through difficult situations to want to interpret the role of the Dominican man. During the story, Oscar seeks a woman who gives him love and makes him feel like a man, but does not have the masculine qualities necessary to achieve his purpose. While his friend Yunior is the opposite, that is, his role in history is a man that women are always behind him by his charms, to the point that he cannot maintain a relationship with a woman because he cannot be faithful.
Throughout Junot Diaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the Man Without a Face is a recurring character with no evident features. All of his scenes include an event in which he is either a mysterious spectator watching the distress around himself or joins in on the torture. His appearances throughout the story are suggestive of evil or violent incidents that are about to occur. More times than not, the acts are performed by Trujillo 's men. Almost consistently, he emerges whenever one of the main characters is in great discord. The faceless man symbolizes the foreshadowing of malicious occurrences caused by Fukú.
Junot Díaz’s Drown, a collection of short stories, chronicles the events of Yunior and his family. Each story focuses Yunior and his struggle growing up as a Dominican immigrant and finding a place for himself within American society. Throughout the progression of the novel, Yunior realizes the stereotypes placed on him and recognizes that being white is advantageous. Yunior’s experience growing up both in the Dominican Republic and the States has shaped his perspective on life and life choices.
Oscar is not the typical Dominican man that his family expects him to be. He is considered to be a nerd which leads to the lack of romance in his adolescence and adulthood. In an article by Joori Joyce Lee it says: “Growing up as a ghetto nerd, or "a smart kid in a poor-ass community," Diaz felt like a mutant because he found himself to be an outsider in both the Dominican subculture and mainstream white American society.” (Lee, pg 23). Oscar could never really fit in with his peers or even with Dominicans, he is always considered an outsider to them. “Everybody noticed his lack of game and because they were Dominican everybody talked about it.” (Diaz, pg. 24). His own family recognizes his lack of masculinity that a Dominican man should have. Even Oscar’s sister Lola encourages him to lose weight and to become more masculine in order to get a girlfriend. His uncle Rudolfo is a prime example of what society expects every
Yunior represents the stereotypical Dominican male raised in the states, yet he battles with self-definition as he comes to terms with who he is on the inside as opposed to whom he is purportedly supposed to be on the outside. According to the Dominican culture, males are the picture of masculinity, known for their womanizing ways. The central conflict within Yunior is his love for the Dominican social norm versus his love for the things in his life that represented nerdiness. Yunior lifted weights and ran to keep himself physically fit and sexually promiscuous, at the same time, he enjoyed and engaged in nerdy banter with Oscar about science fiction genre, anime, fantasy and even writing. Yunior and Oscar share the same interests, which Yunior would never admit to anyone else, which is clear when Yunior says,