Characterization of Yunior
Junot Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated with his family to New Jersey, where a collection of his short stories are based from. Out of that collection is a short story “Fiesta, 1980”, which was featured in The Best American Short Stories, 1997. This story is told from the perspective of an adolescent boy, who lives in the Bronx of northern New Jersey with his family. He is having trouble understanding why things are the way they are in his family. Diaz shows Yunior’s character through his cultures, his interaction with his family, and his bitterness toward his father.
To show what kind of character Yunior is Diaz shows him through the two different cultures he has to live with daily. …show more content…
I still wanted him to love me, something that never seemed strange or contradictory until years later, when he was out of our lives” but that seems like too much to ask. His father does not only treat him like crap at home but in public too. At the party, Papi humiliates Yunior in front of everyone when he tells him “If you eat anything, I am going to beat you. ¿Entiendes? I nodded. And if your brother gives you any food, I will beat him too. Right here in
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It is not just the language of the Dominican culture that we find characters struggling to hold onto in Díaz’s Drown. We also find that the characters walk a fine line of defining themselves as newly Dominican American, and it seems they feel pressured to leave behind their old ways and traditions to join their new society. In the short story “Fiesta, 1980,” we find many examples of the family being torn between their Dominican customs and assimilating to their new American life. This story begins with the explanation of Papi’s most prized possession: a brand-new, lime-green, Volkswagen van. Much to Yunior’s chagrin (due to the fact that he gets sick every time he rides in the vehicle), this van means a lot to Papi, because to him, it represents an American family. According to John Riofrio (2008), “it[the van] is the embracing of the American way which has reenabled Papi’s masculinity,” (p. 33). After arriving at their Tia and Tio’s home for the party, Yunior sneers at his relatives’ apartment stating, “the place had been furnished in Contemporary Dominican Tacky” (p. 32). It seems as though Yunior, after only a short period in America, is already feeling embarrassed by his culture’s traditions. This chapter of the book also discusses the betrayal of Yunior’s father to his family, by having an affair with a Puerto Rican woman, whom
“His nation chewed him up and spat him out like a pinon shell, and when he emerged from an airplane one late afternoon, I knew I would one day make love with him” (Martinez, 3). And so it starts, the story of a nineteen year old Mexican- American girl named Mary (Maria; as he only chooses to call her), who helps out and eventually falls in love with Jose Luis Alegria, a Salvadoran refugee. Martínez's story of María is told against the backdrop of the 12-year civil war in El Salvador. Maria and Jose Luis develop a friendship that slowly turns into a typical novella love affair. Through their relationship, both characters are forced to confront the violence of their
In his autobiographical narrative A Summer Life, Gary Soto vividly recreates the guilt felt by a six- year-old boy who steals an apple pie. Through Soto’s reminiscent he has taken us on a journey of his guilt, paranoia, and redemption through the usage of tone, allusions, and imagery.
Here we are revealed more about human nature. Just like any society that instills fear into its followers or citizens that is exactly what the father does with his family. The father is the figure of power of this family and instead of leading with love and kindness he demonstrates his power through fear and dominance. We are able to see that the family in itself is a whole and loves each other, yet there is this rift between each family member that is threatening to tear it apart. For example, when Yunior gets in trouble with his father and his brother is around instead of standing with Yunior and speaking up Rafa backs away and avoids any confrontation with their father in order to avoid his wrath. This makes Yunior look down on his brother in a sense that Rafa doesn’t have his back at times when he needs him most, so he truly can’t trust him (Shreve & Nguyen, 2006). This is just the small part of the family for there are even parts of the whole family that act in a similar fashion.
This separation from his family caused a longing in his life. But this longing was superseded by what he suspected his teachers could give him. Rodriguez develops a double personality of sorts. The person he is at home, the polite child who lovingly does what his parents ask of him. And then the academic persona he
Marisol is a young, assimilated hispanic woman in 1990’s New York who works a white collar job in Manhattan and lives in the Bronx. She doesn’t have family or loved ones living close to her except her friend and colleague, June. One night she has an unfortunate
The author creates themes of commonality that are relatable to many in this story story. There is a crucial moment in rebellious child’s lives that pushes them to act out. For Lola this happens to be her mother and her battle with breast cancer, “with her cancer there wasn’t much she could do anymore” (Diaz 5). Lola,
Junot Diaz is a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is very widely known for this writing and his background story. In Junot Diaz’s story, “The Money: Starting Out,” he shares a story from his childhood. The story is about when Diaz and his family had just recently moved to New Jersey from Santo Domingo and they felt as if they were “targeted.” The neighborhood that they were living in was not the top of the line, lots of robberies were taking place. The Diazs’ themselves are a victim of robbery, but in the end, everything turns out to be good. Throughout Diaz’s story the reader can better understand and sympathize with this family because of the many uses of pathos and ethos in the passage.
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
One thing all human beings, have in common is the struggle for self identity. Children are raised by parents or guardians who have struggled and fought for their own identities. In many cases, parents are still trying to figure it out, while raising their own children. Such is the case with the characters in Junot Diaz’s, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The theme of identity is conveyed through the characters’ Dominican culture, social standing, and in finding love. Oscar, Lola, and Yunior are three central characters in Oscar Wao, who’s Dominican cultural and family expectations were major obstacles as they struggled to establish their identity.
We see this very phenomenon enumerated within the short narratives of Drown. Yunior struggles to negotiate the differences between Dominican and American cultures; however, he is “caught somewhere in between.” In the Dominican Republic, Yunior embraces the language of his culture, illustrated through his inclusion of Spanish slang; however, in America, Yunior suppresses his Dominican culture in favor of the dominant culture, for Yunior seeks societal acceptance. In “Edison, New Jersey,” he rarely speaks Spanish unless surrounded by those of his native culture. Caught between two worlds, Yunior struggles
Yunior details a world full of discrimination and stereotypes. When Yunior describes his move to Westminster from Santo Domingo, he reveals his father had his family fit into the “American” life. His father tells him, “Decent people live around here and that’s how we’re going to live.
Is a Manny Hernandez a Parrot in the Oven or a vato firme? The answer is found in his interior monologue, dialogue, and his actions. Victor Martinez uses these writing strategies to give life to the character of Manny Hernandez. Manny is a 14 year old kid living in the projects in poverty with his dysfunctional family. His dad is an alcoholic and abusive, his brother can’t keep a job, and his mom cleans the house as if she could wash away her troubles.
Before Diaz even talks about Yunior talking to different ethnical girls in his apartment, he touches on how Yunior changes his living environment to hide his true heritage. In the essay, Yunior hides all of the “Dominican artifacts,” that are in his room. He does this because he knows that
Junot Diaz Drown universe is one filled with insecurities that disturbs the closest relationship that the different characters find themselves in. One of the main issues explored, addressed in the stories “Fiesta 1980”, “Aurora”, and “ Drown”, is how do your own insecurities affect your attitude in your inter-personal relationships? In these stories, the consequences of personal insecurities of the character’s relationships include conjugal violence, denial of adultery and possible denial of sexual orientation.