"The Money" By Junot Díaz: Analysis Of Main Themes

For many people, money is the most important thing in their lives. In Junot Díaz’s 2011 narrative “The Money” he recalls a story of how his family’s apartment was broken into while they were away on vacation. Let's analyze the main topic and literary devices of this story in "The Money By Junot Díaz Analysis" paper.

Junot is a 12-year-old boy who is exasperated with his living situation, surroundings and even his parents’ decisions. The story depicts an unfortunate event in Junot’s life, he explains their family financial struggles and difficulties with household expenses. Diaz delivers a witty and compelling tale in which he uses various literary devices and techniques to entertain the reader.

The method of development used in his writing is narration. It is a story told in chronological order, Diaz thoroughly explains how the events leading up to the robbery took place. He begins by giving the audience background on how his mother sends some of the little money they have to his poor grandparents in the Dominican Republic. He then talks about how the robbery happened on his family’s summer vacation. Someone had stolen the money that his mom saves up to send to his grandparents. He then realizes that two guys who he hangs out with were the robbers and breaks into one of their apartments to steal the money back. He concludes the story by explaining how the next day, one of the guys said someone had stolen “his savings”. Junot had considered keeping the money for himself but returned it back to his mother after two days. He was upset at the end when she showed no gratitude.

Diaz uses a combination of different syntax in his writing. He uses simple, compound and complex sentences throughout his writing to structure the story. This is shown in the first paragraph alone and these different types of syntax are sprinkled throughout the entire piece of work. An example of a simple sentence provided would be at the beginning when he says, “All the Dominicans I knew in those days sent money home. ” He then follows it up with another simple sentence, “My mother certainly did. ” He explains his and his grandparents’ distance with a complex-compound sentence, saying “They were alone down there and those remittances, beyond material support, were a way, I suspect for Mami to negotiate the absence, the distance caused by our diaspora. ” He uses these various techniques to successfully depict his experience.

Diaz uses a mixture of diction throughout the story. He uses formal diction, but also informal diction, using slang and curse words. He calls money “the loot” in the introduction paragraph, saying “She didn’t have a regular job outside of caring for us five kids, so she scrimped the loot together from whatever came her way. ” He is talking about how his mother doesn’t have a whole lot of money but still saves up whatever she can in order to send to his grandparents whose financial struggles are worse than their own. He refers to people as “assholes”. He does this to express his frustration with people.

He also uses figurative language a number of times as well. One instance is when he refers to money as “smackers”. Additionally, he refers to his two so-called friends as “dolts” when he realized that they were the robbers. The purpose for his choice of words is to entertain the reader and make the story intriguing. The overall tone of the story is comical, although Diaz describes a frustrating situation in his life, he writes in a way to make the story funny. His choice of words correlates with this, such as when he curses. He uses the curse words in order to provide a sense of humor and wittiness. Diaz wants to make the reader laugh but also understand his frustration with everything.

“The money” is a well-expressed narrative that can be entertaining for anyone who reads it. Diaz is a skilled story teller and it shows in this piece of work. He is able to flip an unfortunate event in his life into an entertaining and funny story. He does this using effective literary techniques. Diaz successfully expresses his emotions towards the two robbers and is able to coherently develop his story.


18 May 2020
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