Expectations of Dominican People in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Decent Essays

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.
Oscar is the antithesis of his culture’s idea of manliness. In the beginning we meet an Oscar who is called “Porfirio Rubirosa” (21). Everyone is proud of the boy because this is exactly what he needs to be to be a Dominican man. Men from Dominican Republic, and perhaps Spanish Caribbean men, are expected to take care of their family especially their mothers and sisters, yet they are also expected to be “playboys” who have multiple women. as the first line of the story communicates, “Our hero was not one of those Dominican cats everybody’s always going on about—he wasn’t no home-run hitter or a fly-bachetero, not a playboy with a million hots on his jock” (21). Oscar is the type of man who women say they want; kind, sensitive, considerate, smart, and romantic. He truly want to find true

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