The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Woa Analysis

1986 Words 8 Pages
In many respects, men are privileged. In fact, in many cultures a man’s attributes, accomplishments, rights, and opinions are valued, and placed above his female counterpart. It is believed that men live a better life because of these privileges. In Spanish and Latin cultures, men are expected to exhibit a machismo attitude. They are expected to be hyper masculine, sexually promiscuous, and dominant in all social aspects. This perception of men and “maleness” is dangerous; it negatively affects society and the male psyche. Junot Diaz’s story The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Woa vividly explores the machismo concept in the Dominican – American culture through the characters of Oscar and Yunior, although they are total opposites, this sexist …show more content…
The repressed feeling or emotion is “blocked because it has been judged to be potentially disruptive to or psychological stability or self-image” (Berk 546). Males are taught at an early age to repress their emotions. They are discouraged from showing anything that may be viewed as weakness, in both the physical and emotional form. Thus, males develop into adulthood always suppressing their emotions, and never truly understanding them. Diaz’s main protagonist, Oscar De Leon, although criticized for not exhibiting the typical Dominican machismo attitude, he is still affected by the negative consequences. Oscar was unable to express himself emotionally, “he cried often for his love of some girl or another. Cried in the bathroom, where nobody could hear him” (Diaz 24). Oscar’s reoccurring cycle of unrequited love and depression lead to a suicide attempt. The warning signs were present, he often spoke about feeling hopeless, and he was withdrawn from his family and displayed extreme mood swings. “Homes had it bad; couldn’t so much as see a cute girl without breaking into shakes. Developed crushes out of nothing” (Diaz 173).
Feeling the need to always exhibit hyper masculinity, can lead to health issues such as sexual dysfunctions, insomnia, depression, weight gain, and weight loss. All of which, were evident in Oscar De Leon. Oscar often felt misunderstood by those around him. He did not fit into this hyper masculine role. “Sophomore year Oscar found himself weighing in at a whopping 245 (260 when he was depressed, which was often) and it has become clear to everybody, especially his family, that he’d become the neighborhood pariguayo” (Dominican slang for a guy that’s all talk and no action) (Diaz

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