The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Lesson Plan

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a reasonably current and wildly popular entry into the canon of diaspora literature, a Spanish-inflected treatise on love, masculinity and the methods which individuals handle cruelty and tragedy. It raises problems of bigotry, feminism, governance and failure to change, whether on an individual level or a nationwide one, all sprinkled with a deeply individual language born of bilingualism and deep-rooted geekery.

Key Elements of The Brief Fascinating Life of Oscar Wao


Diaz’s book is a postmodern take on magic realism, a category related to Latin America and the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende. Typically, magic realism is the domain of the post-colonial landscape, as the magic of the undeveloped world is contrasted with the realism of civilization. Diaz understands the bothersome “otherism” of that trope and looks for to both emphasize the magical thinking about Western culture (by emphasizing its science-fiction canon) and the harsh realism of the Dominican Republic (by highlighting the violence and pragmatism of it). However, he still enhances the island with unique wonderful powers and hence The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao could be categorized as magic realism itself.


The book shuttles back and forth between the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, making use of the post-colonial trope of enhancing the Third World, the homeland, with unique magic and a sort of glamorized savagery when compared to the “civilized” U.S. setting. New Jersey is represented as vaguely violent and primarily rather uninteresting, whereas the D.R. is a location of extreme emotion and severe savagery, but also of magic and salvation.

Point of view

The novel is told by Yunior, Diaz’s alter-ego, who has appeared in a lot of Diaz’s short stories too. The character of Lola narrates a couple of short sections on her own, but aside from that the entire story is filtered through Yunior’s eyes and bias.

Character advancement

Oscar: The title character and lead character. He is a castaway everywhere he goes– overweight, a nerd in the ghetto, and so on. He spends most of the novel searching for a lady who will like him back. He is consistently described as un-Dominican due to his effeminacy and his severe nerdiness.

Yunior: Yunior, who narrates the book, remains anonymous until Chapter 4. Yunior is his nickname and he never exposes his complete name. He is Oscar’s roommate and at some point pal. A playboy and a professional athlete, Yunior likewise dates Lola for several years He is a somewhat unreliable storyteller who admits to decorating the story.


Fuku: Menstruation, particularly on Oscar’s household however in a broader sense on every citizen of the New World, considering that the invasion of Columbus. Yunior blames fuku for the difficulties of the de Leon family.

Zafa: A counterspell to fuku, a method to fight the curse without really defeating it permanently.

Brave Love: Yunior sees Oscar as in some ways a heroic figure, for passing away in service of love. However, from another point of view, Oscar is chronically depressed and not able to see women as fellow human beings, preferring to admire them completely and location obligation for his psychological well-being in their hands.

Failure to Modification: Both Yunior and Oscar are unable to change their destructive behaviors, though Yunior acknowledges his own issues in a lower way than he does Oscar’s. In truth, one major thread through the novel is that everyone is trapped within their own tendencies, unable to become a various person, able only to be him/herself. Likewise, the Dominican Republic is unable to impact genuine modification– even when its wicked totalitarian is toppled, individuals are still dragged out to the cane fields and eliminated.


The Mongoose: Redemption from the household curse is represented by a mongoose with golden eyes, which appears to both Beli and Oscar when they’re passing away in the walking cane fields and motivates them to get away. Diaz has stated that the mongoose is a household sign and has little significance in the folklore of the Dominican Republic.

The Faceless Man: A man without a face shows up rather regularly in the novel, in dreams, in visions, and when something bad has to do with the happen to the characters. He could be stated to represent menstruation on the family, or to hint Evil.

The Walking stick Fields: When somebody is about to be beaten to death, they are required to the walking stick fields, which are labyrinthine and hard to leave even for the physically able. The walking stick fields represent a place of fantastic threat from which one can not return without supernatural help.


In the climax of the novel, Oscar is eliminated by policemen. He has actually been stalking a lady with whom he has actually fallen in love, the girlfriend of a Dominican police officer. The polices have beaten Oscar up previously, and they take him to the walking stick fields and shoot him. Oscar makes a last speech telling the authorities that by killing him, they are removing an excellent love from the world.


The unique moves forward and backward in time, weaving the stories of Oscar and Lola (embeded in a contemporary timeframe) with first the tale of their mother in the 1950s and after that even further back, to the tale of their grandfather. Diaz’s structure highlights the heritable nature of the fuku on Oscar’s household, and permits him to present or mention characters who will later on be fleshed out as their stories unfold.