Theme Of The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao

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26 October 2014
The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao
The issue of gender roles is one of the central themes of this novel. All the main characters of the novel spend their whole lives trying to conform to the standards of masculinity and femininity expected of them by the society. The inability of the main character of the book to meet the expected stereotypical roles not only causes them personal turmoil but also makes their social life miserable. They try to fit in the ascribed gender roles of their Dominican culture, but are simply incapable of doing that. However, the society does not understand their incapability and makes them pay for their nonconformity.
The highly masculine society of Dominican culture does overwhelm the female character of the novel. The Dominican culture is a highly male dominant society in which women are often abused
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Unfortunately, our hero lacked in physical attractiveness as well. It was stated on page 22 of the book, “sophomore year Oscar found himself weighing in at a whopping 245” (Diaz) this obesity drives him even further away from the expectations of the society, making it even more difficult for our hero to fit in. Furthermore, to be a real man in Dominican society a male has to depict an aggressive and rough attitude. Diaz makes the character of Oscar lack even this attribute of Dominican masculinity. It is mentioned on page 19, “It wasn’t just that he didn’t have no kind of father to show him the masculine ropes, he simply lacked all aggressive and martial tendencies… Oscar had like a zero combat rating; Aggression and intimidation out of the question.” The above lines show that our hero was not treading the path of nonconformity as a matter of choice; he was simply incapable of following the gender specific requirement of the Dominican
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