The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Go over the differences and similarities in between being an immigrant, an outsider, and a hero.

    Recommendation:

    In the novel, the characters typically embody all 3 descriptions in one way or another– Belicia and Yunior have actually immigrated to New Jersey from the Dominican Republic, Oscar and Belicia are outsiders at school, and Lola has the constant desire to be outside of any place or whatever she is doing. The function of immigrant, outsider or hero are related due to the fact that they are all roles that make the character different from the entire. The immigrant is literally outside of his/her country of origin, while at the exact same time he/she differs from his/her brand-new environment. The immigrant likewise is signifies escape. The outsider, in a broad sense, is somebody who does not fit into whatever entire to which they wish to belong. The hero, on the other hand, frequently differs from the remainder of the population since he/she has power and strength that others do not have. Therefore, while the immigrant and outsider frequently have unfavorable connotations, the hero has positive connotations. When integrated, they offer a diverse view of a character.

  2. 2

    In Oscar Wao, the characters are often challenged with frustrating love as well as with unspeakable violence. Both serve as fuel that keeps the characters going. Which one is more effective? Do love and violence work for each other or versus each other?

    Tip:

    As mentioned in the beginning, the novel’s self-proclaimed subject is menstruation of the Cabral de León household– a curse that is identified by violence. Yet, at the very same time, the novel’s driving force is love: Abelard’s love for his family, Belicia’s three heartbreaks, Oscar’s search for a romantic relationship, and Yunior’s dysfunctional love for Lola. In the beginning glance, love and violence work versus each other. Nevertheless, love and violence actually combine to alleviate the household of the curse.

  3. 3

    Explain how wonderful realism operates in Oscar Wao and in Yunior’s design of narration. What does wonderful realism bring to the story? What, if anything, does it eliminate?

    Tip:

    Magical realism enables Díaz to bring supernatural components to the story. In some ways, the supernatural helps to lighten the political undertones of the story, which could remove from the story by reducing the potency of the truth of Trujillo’s regime and the effect it had on the people of the Dominican Republic. However, making use of the wonderful components also allows Díaz to construct a story that utilizes the power of creativity to construct a reality that realism can not adequately describe. Magical realism likewise holds significance in that it is a mainly Latino/a type of composing, and Díaz has actually used it unconventionally to narrate that bridges Latino/a with Latino/a American.

  4. 4

    How do the 4 primary characters– Oscar, Lola, Belicia and Abelard– parallel comics heroes? How does Trujillo suit the comparison? What is the significance of these parallels and how does it contribute to the story?

    Recommendation:

    Díaz loosely parallels his characters to fit the model of the comics Wonderful 4. The 4 primary characters suit the paradigm of the Wonderful Four: Abelard is Mr. Fantastic, Belicia is the Unnoticeable Female, Lola is the Human Torch, Oscar is the important things. Yunior is the Watcher, and Trujillo is their opponent Galactus. The Wonderful 4 were typically represented as an inefficient family, whose family feuds prevented them from getting their jobs done efficiently. Bear in mind that the parallel is loose, however it does enable some valuable insight into the character’s capabilities as “heroes” and their powers to get rid of the fukú.

  5. 5

    Writers versus Dictators: “What is it with Totalitarians and Writers anyway?” (97 ). Talk about how this motif is prevalent in the novel.

    Tip:

    Yunior, Oscar and Abelard are characterized by their role as authors. Abelard’s writings have the most direct fight with the totalitarian Trujillo, however Oscar and Yunior write to counter the fukú that is closely connected with the totalitarian. Díaz frames the pen as an important weapon for fighting injustice, supernatural forces, and most notably, silence and ignorance.

  6. 6

    Go over how Diaz uses pop culture to produce a discourse with Dominican history.

    Tip:

    Díaz makes intertextual recommendations to sci-fi and comic books in essentially every chapter of the novel. He also recommendations popular TELEVISION shows and stars from the time in which Oscar and Yunior live. Díaz often uses these recommendations to frame Dominican history, thus developing a dialogue between Yunior’s proficiencies in both locations; Yunior offers the point-of-view of diaspora by US popular culture to expand outside of the “Plátano Curtain” erected by Trujillo to insulate the island.

  7. 7

    What is the significance of the Mongoose and of the No Face Man? How does their existence affect the story?

    Suggestion:

    Each appearance of either of these symbolic characters is packed with significance; they frequently appear at times when a monumental occasion is occurring or will take place. The Mongoose acts as a sort of guardian angel to Beli and later to Oscar; his existence connects to “zafa” or the counterspell versus the curse. The No Face Male is the harbinger of fukú, and his presence suggests that the curse is active and that occurring occasions will be cursed.

  8. 8

    Dominican masculinity is a central theme in the novel. Why is it so crucial, and how does it affect the unfolding of the plot?

    Suggestion:

    Oscar’s predicament throughout the story is his failure to embody the function of the Dominican male both physically and psychologically. Oscar’s sole aspiration is to find a woman who returns his love but he does not have the needed manly qualities to attain his goal. Yunior’s predicament, on the other hand, is his overachieved masculinity, i.e. his function as a ladies’ male that can not turn off his beauty, to the point that he is not able to preserve a relationship with Lola due to the fact that he can not be faithful. Oscar and Yunior are revers when it concerns Dominican masculinity and thus serve as foils to one another.

  9. 9

    The dictator Trujillo is a genuine historical figure that Díaz inserts into his book. How does Díaz define Trujillo utilizing “Genre”? In what methods is Trujillo’s character able to affect the imaginary characters of the story?

    Idea:

    The story of Oscar de León is inextricable from the fukú that is related to Trujillo in the book. Trujillo plays the function of antagonist, and Díaz uses numerous referrals to comics characters, such as Darkseid and Galactus, as well as to science-fiction antagonists like Sauron of the Lord of the Rings. He is also symbolic of the Authorities life of the nation, while the Cabral de Leóns embody the quotidian. However, the nation can not exist without the people that reside in it. By providing the information of the Cabral de León’s stories, Díaz shows how the quotidian is necessary to the presence of the official nation.

  10. 10

    Examine the author’s representation of female sexuality as a kind of power.

    Recommendation:

    Belicia and Lola discover methods to utilize their physical assets to assert power over others. Belicia is worried generally with liberty, particularly, the liberty to do as she pleases be it working to prove her self-reliance from La Inca, loving a hazardous man, or making her method unabashedly through the challenges of life. Lola desires escape, and she uses her sexuality to propel her into brand-new places.