The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao Summary

942 Words 4 Pages
Richard Shang
Mrs. McQuay
English 11
May 15 2017 Marginalization in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Time and time again people see how marginalization of a group can create psychological and emotional problems such as anxiety, fear, and depression. In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz explores these specific issues through the brief life of Oscar de Leon and his family. The repeated marginalization of Oscar and his his family causes him to express self-doubt and depression, eventually becoming and more isolated, displaying how the effects of marginalization can affect one person.
Oscar from the start, even in the Dominican Republic, was marginalized. Dominican men have a reputation of being masculine, being able to charm
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Unfortunately, even in America, Oscar is too unmasculine. Coupled with being a foreigner, Oscar feels lonelier than ever, failing to make a single permanent friend and ends up getting dissed by a girl. The narrator describes the feeling as “that whisper that all long-term immigrants carry inside themselves, the whisper that says You do not belong,”(204). Despite being in America, Oscar is held to stereotypical expectations. For instance, he is expected to do the salsa, merengue, or bachata, but he is unable to. The shame is so great, that he would often tell people he and his sister (a talented dancer) was separated from birth. This marked a crucial point where Oscar was not just isolated from the outside world, but the point where he was even isolated from his family. Once again, Oscar hides behind his writing and geeky passions, ignoring the outside world. The marginalization Oscar faces pushes him further and further away from society. Unlike many other stories of immigration, Oscar does not fight back. Instead, he let’s himself get pushed around further away from his goals and …show more content…
There is an important focus on Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and the atrocities he committed. Despite the fact that Trujillo existed years before Oscar, and has little to do with America, Trujillo is an important figure and plays as the oppressor in Oscar’s mother’s life. Fragmented hearsay about Trujillo’s atrocities are used to express the common hatred for Trujillo. The focus Oscar’s mother allows the reader to better understand characters around Oscar. Oscar’s grandfather(and father) was imprisoned by Trujillo for treason. Because of this, at a young age, Oscar’s mother was beaten down by Trujillo from the start. Oscar’s mother, Beli, would grow up to be extremely cold, exhibiting some bipolar behavior. For instance, when Beli finally saw her daughter Lola after fourteen months, her first words are ,“Coño, pero tú sí eres fea [Damn, you're ugly].(164)” Furthermore, Beli is dark-skinned. In the Dominican Republic, dark-skinned are often mistakened for Haitian, who are looked down upon with disdain. The Haitians are considered poor and occupy the lower rungs in the Dominican Republic. Beli’s daughter, Lola, even remarks, “You are the only Haitian I love.”(204). This reveals even in Dominican Republic there is racial tension and struggles between race. The racial tension Oscar’s mother experiences causes Beli to constantly berating

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