The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

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“Parigiiayo” is a slang term in the DR for a “party watcher”. Today this is translated as one who fits the stereotype of a loser,a slow person, and a man with no game to get a date. In the text, this term is used to describe Oscar during his sophomore year of high school. The text goes on to talk about how Oscar Couldn’t play sports, dominoes, was beyond uncoordinated, threw a ball like a girl, could not dance, and ultimately had no looks. In the text, Lola talks about her drinking coffee she made from the greca. The dominicans take a lot of pride into their coffee. The greca, an aluminum stovetop Italian- style espresso jug is found in most Dominican kitchens. It is said that the 'greca' was one of the most famous brand names for this specific coffee pot, and Dominicans have adopted it as the generic word for this utensil. Other methods of making coffee are rarely seen, except for in restaurants and cafeterias where Italian espresso machines are used. Dominican coffee is popular and is known for its high quality at a low cost.

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General Rafael Trujillo assumed control of the Dominican Republic in 1930. He was successful in reducing foreign debt and fostering economic prosperity for the Dominican people, Trujillo and his human rights abuses—including the murder of thousands of civilians—managed to escape rebuke from international officials for decades, but his reputation became tarnished after reports of a massacre against an estimated 20,000 Haitians became public in 1937, it wasn’t until his failed assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Betancourt that the United States finally voted to break all relations with him. In the passage where the quote was taken, Beli was talking about the life of people under Trujillo’s power. People were not happy with his rule, yet they feared to act out against him. The level of fear was so intense, that even though the people were not happy with his rule still praised him. The narrator mentions Garcia in chapter three. Johnny Abbes Garcia was one of Trujillo’s “beloved Morgul Lords”. As chief of the secret police, Abbes was known as the greatest torturer of the Dominican People ever to have lived. He incessantly fought against Trujillo’s enemies.

Abbes organized the plot to assassinate the democratically elected president of Venezuela Romulo Betancourt. After Trujillo was assassinated, Abbes became the consul to Japan and worked for another dictator: François Duvalier, who ruled Haiti. In this passage where this quote is taken from, Abelard's daughter, Jacquelyn, is grown up now and Abelard fears that Trujillo will try to sleep with Jacquelyn if he catches glimpse of her. As a result Abelard tries to prevent this by keeping Jacquelyn at home. He convinces others that his wife has a health issue and that Jacquelyn has to stay home and take care of her. This is very risky, for hiding your daughter from Trujillo is a crime. Women were victimized by Trujillo since the beginning of his reign. He believed that he could have any woman he wanted to and treated women more as objects. Most women were so frightened by him that they just gave themselves up to him to avoid the harsher consequences. From a racial perspective in the Dominican Republic, skin color takes on significance. A darker skin tone resembles adversity and hardships, whereas lighter skin tones resembles success and happiness. In the quote above, Oscar is getting made fun of for not looking as “dominican” as the rest of his peers. Lola is warned not to get a tan for fear she will look Haitian, and therefore treated with the same disrespect Haitians receive. Oscar and Beli are the two darkest-skinned characters in the novel, so they are looked down upon by their families at birth.

In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, women are seen as inferior to men, and as a result, they are often objectified and subjected to violence. This inferiority of women is presented throughout the entire novel. It is embedded into the Dominican culture, where men are taught that women are nothing more than an object for them to win and women are taught to determine their self-worth on the man's opinion of them. This is particularly seen during Trujillo’s reign. There are many scenes where female characters are beaten for going against the desires of the male characters. The men’s superiority allowed them to believe that the women should be disciplined for not doing as they were told.In terms of finding one’s sexuality Dominican Republic culture, this novel suggests the idea that males and females should have specific body types with ideal sex characteristics, and they should act in particular and distinct way, according to their gender. In The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, this idea of turning male and female bodies into as sexual objects defines the role of sexulity in the dominican culture. This quote is taken from the passage talking about Beli’s transition from girlhood to womanhood. She is coming to terms with her sexulaity which made her feel “terrifed, scandalized, and giddy” in a world of catcalling and sex driven men.

The novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, revolves around the character's beliefs of the idea that their lives are controlled by the Fuku curse. The Fuku curse can be reversed by the Zafra, which is also present within the character's lives, particularly Oscar. He is the character that undergoes the most identifiable issues pertaining to Fuku and Zafa. It is also noted that the characters believe Trujillo is an important part of the curse. Conversely, without the curse, all events would have different outcomes. If Oscar had died when he tried to commit suicide, he would not have lost his virginity. The Dominican diaspora in the United States estimates around 1.7 million individuals who were either born in the Dominican Republic or of Dominican origin. In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, diaspora is mentioned in the novel, and it holds thematic importance. It becomes one of the novel‘s main topics as the challenges the characters face are distorted by the diaspora, with the issues of the immigrant experience. This quote was taken from chapter 6, when Beli transfers to a private school. Her teacher asks her to write the date on the board and she is praised by her teacher for getting the right date.

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