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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In analyzing portrayals of women, it is appropriate to begin with the character of Margarita. For, within the text, she embodies the traditionally masculine traits of bravery, resilience, and violence as a means of liberating herself from an existence of abuse and victimhood. Even more, the woman plays upon stereotypes of femininity in order to mask her true nature. The reader witnesses this clever deception in a scene where the character endures a “wholesome thrashing” from her huge, violent, and grizzly bear-like husband, Guerra (81). Although Margarita “[submits] to the infliction with great apparent humility,” her husband is found “stone-dead” the next morning (81). Here, diction such as “submits” and “humility” relate to the traits of weakness, subservience and inferiority that are so commonly expected of women, especially in their relationships with men. Yet, when one
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
In The Underdogs, there are countless cases of physical and verbal mistreatment of women. Smith’s Gender and the Mexican Revolution and Lewis’ taped autobiography of Pedro Martinez also emphasizes on the physical and verbal mistreatment. A prominent example in The Underdogs of verbal and insinuated physical mistreatment of women occurred with Camilla. La Pintada, speaking with Luis Cervantes, refers to her as “your ---” (74). Camilla’s later hatred of him due to him presumably raping her, shows the treatment of women as nothing more than objects even though he tries to display himself as a more
Point of view is important in any novel. It allows readers to see and understand the events and characters in a novel. Depending on who is speaking, point of view can drive the plot and convey the thoughts of the characters in a story. In the novel, The Brief Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, point of view plays a crucial role in narrating the life of the lonesome outsider, Oscar. The novel is narrated in first person, but Diaz chooses to disclose who the speaker is until later in the book. As the story progresses, there are clues that hint to the reader who the outside source narrating Oscars life is. Diaz uses Yunior to narrate a majority of the novel. This point of view lets the readers understand the Dominican culture through Yunior’s commentary and perspective. It also gives an outside perspective on Oscar which helps build Oscar as a character. Instead of using an omniscient third person or generic first person point of view, Diaz uses multiple characters to narrate the story. This ingenious idea gave the story a more personal and up close look at not only the life of Oscar, but also the lives of his sister, Lola, and his mother, Beli.
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
Junot Diaz a bilingual writer plays with language and culture to develop a story that he believes represents Dominican Republic. Oscar Wao an opponent of everything that we can find in a typical Dominican Macho finds love and death in the country where everything started. Amor is a word that is used only a couple of times in the novel but has a great meaning behind that develops to the curse itself and a series of unfortunate events.
Sofia's ongoing conflict with her father represents a struggle for control of her sexuality. Their arguments also illustrate the cultural differences between the United States and the Dominican Republic. In traditional Dominican culture, a man's honor is determined in part by his ability to protect and guard
Oscar de Leon from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a character that be classified as a member of many different types of social groups. He is characterized as a Dominican, a
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.
True masculine force goes back, in family stories from the Dominican Republic, with Trujillo's dictatorship shaping manhood perception in the Dominican culture. Oscar is incapable of rising to male-standard imposed by
In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the way women have been represented and characterized gives us an idea of how the female gender are treated differently from the male gender as well as children in Latin America during the 1950s. The husbands were given all the authority, also known as machismo, whereas women weren’t allowed to take charge of anything, and were portrayed as weak and impotent.
In the "Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" Dominican masculinity in the Dominican Republic plays a major role throughout this novel, men are portrayed as a player, sleeping with plenty women, or as having power and are charming, physically attractive and violent at the same. But for Oscar, he was the complete opposite to that Dominican norms. As he struggle all through the novel in search of love. Dominican masculinity and the use of violence in some Dominican men, Oscar life struggle and the generational curse call "fuku" are some of the most important issue I came across throughout this novel. As he was known as the nerd guy, who never get a love back from ladies he was falling in love with.
Love and tragedy come together neither can be separated from each other. The violence of the past can arouse from the dead, and eat alive a new life. Indeed, replacing a tragedy with another one is harmful, but it brings peace at the end. Violence is a very complex term that brings up the darkness of the human world, whether physical or mental, it attacks both ways. In the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, author Junot Diaz employs the theme that in the wrong hands, power leads to violence, which can produce both exterior and interior pain, ultimately causing destruction or even death. Through aphorism, euphemism, direct characterization, realism, anadiplosis, appeal to emotion and anecdotes, Diaz defines the non-existent limits of evil in
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
In popular culture and mainstream media, women are often portrayed as overtly sexual objects that are obligated to entertain the idea of patriarchy. The strong outward appearances and characteristics of women in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz are deceiving, as they do not reveal their powerlessness against men. Throughout the entire book, women are described and seen as sexual objects through the eyes of Yunior, Oscar, and various other men. In the first chapter, Oscar and his peers treat women like they are disposable, despite their desire and need for them. This negative trend is reinforced in the next two chapters, as the narrators shamelessly describe women by emphasizing their feminine traits whilst simultaneously displaying the idea of male dominance. In addition, strong-willed women like Beli and Lola refuse to succumb to such lustful treatment, but when they are tempted with the fantasy of true love, they immediately lose their strength and surrender. In the last few chapters, these ideas are further reinforced through the sexual desire that Oscar possesses. He meets Ybon, a prostitute with a boyfriend, and immediately falls in love. Ybon is committed to her boyfriend, but because of the way she is seen in a patriarchal system, she gives in to the forbidden love that Oscar offers. No matter how strong these women were within the story, they always let the men have their way. In the end, Oscar dies because of his uncontrollable desire for love. The