Londonstani By Gautam Malkani And Oscar In A Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao By Junot Díaz

1732 words - 7 pages

According to James Baldwin, language connects one to or divorces one from society (454). It causes the desire to be accepted by both the private world and the public world. However, acceptance cannot be achieved when both private identity and public identity are displayed at the same time. The previous statement results in complete isolation by neither displaying one’s private identity nor conforming to public identity. Another consequence of that statement is ultimate conformity by suppressing one’s private identity and true self. In the case of the protagonist in “Londonstani” by Gautam Malkani and Oscar in “A Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Díaz, their language—verbal and behavioral—reveals their isolation and conformity within their communities.
Oscar de León, the protagonist in “A Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”, is isolated from his community because of his behavior that he neither proudly displays nor changes to meet society’s wants. Oscar comes from a very influential Dominican family. In his community, Dominican men are typically smooth talking, naturally social, and “woman-crazy” men. They rarely encounter a problem having to do with women or fitting in. Oscar, however, does not fit the generalization for Dominican men. He is more intellectually active than physically or sexually active. He stays in his room watching “Doctor who”—his favorite science fiction show— and writing journal entries as opposed to chasing girls. He does not suppress his actions and neither does he change them. In his community, such behavior constitutes him as an anomaly to Dominican behavior and isolates him from those who follow the typical Dominican standard.
Oscar further shows his isolation through his behavior when he is determined to have a relationship that his community disapproves of. During his adulthood,—and near ending of his life—Oscar developed a relationship with an older woman who he met while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. She was a prostitute named Yvón. Although Oscar loved Yvón and disregarded her profession, his family believed that he was very desperate to be with a woman like her. Oscar’s mother voiced her disapproval when she discovered his relationship, “Do you know that woman’s a puta [prostitute]? Do you know she bought that house culeando [by having sex]?” (Díaz 147). Oscar countered by saying, “Do you know her mother was a doctor? Do you know her father was a judge?” (Díaz 147). Oscar shows that he does not care about what Yvón does because he believes that she is a worthy person. He ignores his mother and continues to see Yvón. Even after his near death experience when he was brutally attacked and wounded by one of Yvón’s jealous ex-boyfriends, he returned to be with her in Santa Domingo. His determination not only caused his isolation from the community because he chose to be with Yvón rather than a young dignified woman, but it also caused his death when he returned after the...

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