The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: A Summary

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In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz tells the story of a family of Dominican immigrants, focusing primarily on the life of Oscar de León, a descendant of the diaspora that directly experienced the horrors of the Trujillo regime of the mid 20th century. The de Leon family can’t seem to escape the fukú, the seemingly eternal curse that has afflicted the new world for centuries. In order to tell Oscar’s story, Diaz uses the postmodern narrative to weave a story that is not only emotionally potent, but most importantly as a tool to depict the unique, nuanced perspectives of a generation of youths whose identities are both divergent from their parent culture, while simultaneously deeply rooted in its ideals and inescapable…show more content…
In his description of the Beli and the gangster’s vacation, he first describes the setting as being “[the gangster’s] old haunts in Samana (Diaz 132).” Apparently it was “a blessed meridian where mar and sol and green have forged their union…(132),” In the footnote of that page, Yunior admits that
“In my first draft, Samana was actually Jarabacoa, but then my girl Leonie resident expert in all things Domo, pointed out that there are not beaches in Jarabacoa. Leonie was the one who informed me that the perrito (see first paragraphs of chapter one, “GhettoNerd at the End of the World”) wasn’t popularized until the late eighties, early nineties, but that was one detail I couldn’t change, just liked the image too much. Forgive me, historians of popular dance, forgive me(132)!”
We’ve been reliant on Yunior to relate to us the intimate details of the entire de León family. While the details that he alters here appear to be relatively insignificant, their fabrication brings into question all that we’ve apparently learned so far, and what we are going to learn in the future. Given the severity of the situation and Yunior’s stated intention for this story to be a “counterspell,” his word is still trustworthy, but his sarcastic jab at historians is a recognition of his position as the sole narrator of this story. He’s the best we’ve got. In spite of
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