The Theme of Latino Masculinity in 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao'

785 Words Jan 9th, 2018 3 Pages
By blending elements of reality with fantasy and science-fiction, the author paints this "cursed" journey of Oscar, doomed to act the role of the "contemporary geek". The story follows Oscar in his search to find a girl that will return his love, although he doesn't meet the society's masculinity standards. Latino masculinity is a dominant concept in the novel, for that is the main catalyst for all the actions depicted throughout the narration.
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.
Although passion and love have a strong influence on Oscar's personality, he is not able to get a girl and this deepens his depression and weight problem. He is the exact opposite of the macho standardized figure.
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…

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