According to Junot Diaz, the Fuku happens to be associated with a deadly curse, which Oscar and his family go through.
These things are both true. An irresistible, compulsive read that goes down as smoothly as a drink of water, and almost as fast, so untenable is the notion of putting the book down. And the novel is indeed told in a voice that shifts effortlessly from Spanish-tinged patois to references to the stalwarts of geek culture--The Dark Knight Returns, The Matrix, The Stand.
This is a novel in which a handsome, fair-skinned Dominican is described as 'melnibonean. At the end of The Return of the King, Sauron's evil was taken away by "a great wind" and neatly "blown away," with no lasting consequences to our heroes; but Trujillo was too powerful, too toxic a radiation to be dispelled so easily.
Even after his death his evil lingered. Within hours of El Jefe dancing bien pegao with those twenty-seven bullets, his minions ran amok--fulfilling, as it were, his last will and vengeance. A great darkness descended on the Island and for the third time since the rise of Fidel people were being rounded up by Trujillo's son, Ramfis, and a good plenty were sacrificed in the most depraved fashion imaginable, an orgy of terror funeral goods for the father from the son.
Lola and Yunior are relatively normal--both struggling with their immigrant roots, with an upbringing that pits their parent culture against the one that surrounds them, and with difficult family histories, all of which leaves them with very little time to be superheroes-slash-community-activists though Lola comes close.
And Oscar--Oscar is a mess, every single stereotype about the genre geek rolled into one fat, pimply, socially inept package. This kid can barely make it through the day without being verbally or physically abused--he's not saving the world any time soon.
What does a portly New Jersey nerd have to do Oscar wao analytical essay a wealthy Dominican landowner, even if they are grandson and grandfather? It certainly doesn't help that unlike his courtly and intellectually curious grandfather and, to a lesser extent, his strong-willed though shallow motherOscar, though eminently pitiable, is an extremely unappealing character.
We're trained, as genre geeks and as consumers of popular culture, to side with the underdog, with the picked-on and unpopular kid. We've read too many books and seen too many films in which that kid turns out to be the hero, the diamond in the rough whose qualities and skills are unappreciated, but who blossoms into someone quite special, not to expect that same transformation here--a transformation which Oscar, himself a voracious consumer of such stories, clearly hopes for.
Yes, such people exist in geek circles, but does he have to air our dirty laundry in public, among people who all too often assume that this kind of half-formed humanity is all that geekdom amounts to?
And what does any of this have to do with the sad history of the Dominican Republic?
These are the questions I asked myself upon finishing The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and then I realized that the answers were one and the same. Oscar exemplifies the sad truth that people who have suffered are rarely made better, or more likely to recognize and try to prevent the suffering of others, through their pain, and that having suffered makes one no less likely to inflict suffering.
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And, continuing unabated through all these upheavals, a deep-seated racism that runs the gamut from the valorization of light skin to anti-Haitian genocides, and a misogyny that permeates every aspect of Dominican life.
If, that is, misogyny is even the right word. To hate women, after all, one must first acknowledge their personhood, if not their right to express it. And they all buy into it. The internalized racism on display in the novel is scary Oscar's dark-skinned mother is self-conscious of her skin color, and as a girl will only date light-skinned boysbut not nearly as terrifying as the internalized misogyny that every single female character--even the indefatigable Lola--drinks down with her mother's milk.
Oscar, fat and unattractive, at least survives his childhood, but when a neighborhood girl is similarly afflicted, she goes crazy with self-hatred.
Nearly every female character in the novel has a boyfriend who slaps her around, and to whom she goes back again and again. Not a single one of them seems to consider that she doesn't need a man in her life. The seeds of Oscar's family's downfall are sown when the dictator Trujillo hears of the beauty of their eldest daughter, whom Oscar's grandfather refuses to make available to him.
And, of course, there's the defining characteristic of the Dominican male--his promiscuity. But then, the great tragedy of Oscar's life is that he seems set to defy those laws, and in his quest to find that elusive holy grail he develops the characteristics of that most odious specimen, the Nice Guy.
The man who believes that kindness and friendship should be offered only in expectation of sexual favors, who enters into one friendly relationship with a woman after another expecting just this kind of quid pro quo and becomes enraged when it doesn't materialize there's a similar dynamic at play in Joss Whedon's recent online musical, Dr.
It's easier to ignore because Neil Patrick Harris is so winning as the geek in question, but there's no denying that he imposes his own idea of what she's like on the woman of his dreams, and is moved to murderous rage when she falls for someone else. Oscar falls hard and fast, for women he hardly knows, whose only appeal is that they're willing to sit still long enough to become his friends, but who clearly want nothing more than friendship from him.
Though he's far from the prototypical Nice Guy he's more likely, after getting the 'I just want to be friends' talk, to slink off in despair than rant and ravethere's never a sense that Oscar sees these women as anything more than a means to an end.
It's certainly the mentality that other Dominican males embrace, including Yunior, who despite being deeply in love with Lola can't seem to keep it in his pants. Try being a Dominican and reading this novel.
Oscar, Lola and Yunior grow up in an immigrant enclave, dominated by the culture and norms their parents left behind. There are no white characters in the novel, and when white people are mentioned it's usually as an undifferentiated lump--they are "the chief tormentors" of anyone non-white in Oscar's high school, in college they treat him with "inhuman cheeriness," but mostly they're in the background, unimportant and unacknowledged.
He read The Lord of the Rings for what I'm estimating the millionth time, one of his greatest loves and greatest comforts since he'd first discovered it, back when he was nine and lost and lonely and his favorite librarian had said, Here, try this, and with one suggestion changed his life.
Got through almost the whole trilogy, but then the line "and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls" and he had to stop, his head and heart hurting too much. As I've said already, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao isn't a genre novel, not even by association or attitude in the way that William Gibson's latest entries have been.
It is, however, steeped in genre, and clearly written by a man who loves these artifacts, these books, movies, and TV shows. Which is why he gets to say such things, and to paint as painful and unflattering a portrait of the genre geek as Oscar's is.
He's part of the family, and is therefore allowed to criticize it. It's not just that Yunior loves his parent culture even as he excoriates it.Lee 2 Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a novel that wrestles with the complexities of Dominican gender identity through a multi-faceted narrative involving Caribbean mysticism, high fantasy, science fiction, and Spanish and English slang.
Essay about Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Words | 8 Pages. Jeffrey Fisher Final Paper Eng Professor Peterson Trujillo and the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is not a happy book.
Analysis of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Essay Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Where there is love, there is life ”. Human beings cannot live a fulfilled life without love of some kind. The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao Summary SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
What the Story is About A Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao tells the tale of Oscar, a young boy with the most colorful and adventurous childhood. The story is set in a humble village living an ordinary way of life in the United States.
This purpose of this essay is to evaluate Junot Díaz ()’s role as a native informant in his debut novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao () as well as the anxiety of influence that has affected his writing and his unacknowledged debt.