Literary Analysis Of The Brief And Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao By Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz goes through many levels in order to speak upon the topic of gender norms. He begins by talking about the coming of age of the main character Oscar. Then he moves into the topic of speaking about his quest for love. Now, many may think that a “quest for love” is a wondrous adventure however not many are as successful, like Oscar. Some even say that Oscar’s journey to love is the main basis of the novel. Oscar continuously finds himself in love with the surrounding women but never truly knew how to treat/handle them. Diaz wrote “The Lord of the Rings for what I’m estimating the millionth time, on the greatest love 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 the whole trilogy, but the line … he had to stop, his head and heart was hurting too much.” This quote brings to readers Oscar’s first altercation or glance at love which he found through the supernatural plane and literature. All the emotions that he had rushing at once was a feeling that he had never felt before. Joori Lee wrote “Oscar’s love of fantasies, comic books, and role- playing games opposes mainstream culture and makes him what is seemed to be a rebellious outsider.” Even though his description of admiration for supernatural literature Oscar learns through many occasions of rejection is when he finds Ybon in the Dominican Republic. He gives his all-in order to get what needs and also anything that she needs. He not only wanted the emotional connection but also a physical one (keeping in mind that he is still a virgin). Junot poses the question to his readers; what do you really attain on the journey to love? He also answers the question, in stating that while on the journey of finding love one needs to step over boundaries in order to attain true love.
Another question that may be risen while reading is; Why is it such a struggle for Oscar to find love throughout the novel (his personal life). This is another prime example of how gender norms and expectations within a culture may/can affect the lifestyle of any individual that was raised within the culture. When see the constant behavior and is surrounded by it during their daily lives their actions start to reflect what they have been taught. In Oscar’s case the gender norms and expectations have played negatively against him. Stereotypes and cultural expectations are known for bring personal and outside comparison of others. Oscar desperately wants to be intimate with women and even yearns to be successful with the action as well. So, his greatest fear is that he would die a virgin. The writing of Junot The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was such a powerful piece that spoke on so many levels within both Dominican and Dominican American community. By focusing on so many different themes of gender roles and equalities, quest of finding love, unspoken communication of genders and intercultural stereotyping and judgment. Junot Diaz was able to send so many different messages towards the readers about the culture and the lifestyle. He is also able to challenge his readers to indorse diversity within our current society. However the most prominent and continuous theme within the novel is love between self and love between the opposite sex. Nonetheless, Junot Diaz identifies the many layers of attaining love in Oscar’s life and the many trials and tribulations that he had to go through within himself and of others in order to truly be happy.
The theme that is constantly brought up within the story of Oscar’s journey to love is the idea of gender roles. ‘Gender’ deals with whether someone is male or female. Gender identity is about how someone expresses his or her gender. Despite the many roles men and women play in today’s world, some people still judge others based on how they think males and females ‘should’ act. Stereotypes are ideas about how people will act, based on the group to which they belong. Many children grow up identifying certain characteristics as belonging only to boys or girls. Mentions of power and strength within sexuality is constantly mentioned as well. The author later makes mention of the acceptance and or judgment of common nationalities and cultures. Junot also mentions the struggles that people within the Dominican Culture may face from the outside world and also inside their cultural community. The author also explains how the problems such such as this is still being passed down to upcoming generations. He challenges the readers to be the change within the society and begin inforce cultural diversity and to be more accepting of individuals with different levels pigmentation.
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