Oscar Wao Essay

2071 words - 8 pages

Life of Oscar Wao: A Reflection of the Past

Being a colored nerd is difficult, but being a Dominican immigrant colored nerd is virtually hopeless. Oscar lives in a world that reflects the history of his country. In Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the use of historical references is important to the book as a whole in order to understand the present day life of Oscar. Although the book is about Oscar, a majority of the novel tells the story of the de León family history and their life according to the fukú curse. For Oscar’s family, being an immigrant was difficult due to how history has affected the family. Living in the Dominican Republic during the time of a horrible dictatorship was not an easy life for Oscar’s mother Belicia. The way that she has been treated and her family has been treated is a reflection of how Oscar’s identity has been shaped. For Oscar, being a Dominican immigrant, lives a life struggle after struggle in order to prove to others how truly Dominican he is despite what others think. While people think he is the complete opposite of a masculine Dominican, Oscar tries to prove them wrong. His struggle to find love and be in a stable relationship also reflects the way his family’s romantic history with the constantly failed relationships. All the mishaps, events, and unavoidable conflicts in Oscar’s life are a direct representation of the history of his family’s past. The cultural, political, and family history explains the similarities between the past and present that ultimately leads Oscar to his inevitable fate.
The story of Oscar revolves heavily around the family’s curse and how everyone occupying in the Caribbean lived with a curse. One of the roles of history in the book is trying to find out the true meaning behind the curse and the origins of it. Oscar, as well as the narrator, spends a great deal of time trying to comprehend the fukú curse and figuring out the zafa counter spell. In the history of the Dominican Republic, a few generations before Oscar’s time, the dictator reigned and spread fear throughout the country. The narrator says that “No one knows whether Trujillo was the Curse’s servant or its master, its agent or its principal, but it was clear he and it had an understanding, that them two was tight” (Diaz 3). It is important for the narrator to tell people the extent of what it was like to live in the Dominican Republic back then with a dictator. By describing the situation, it shows how the narrator, Yunior, is trying to understand Oscar’s family past. Part of the reason that Oscar is the way he is can be explained by the fukú. Oscar has accepted the fact that his family is cursed and advises people to stay away from him and his family. His perception of himself and of the world is greatly affected by this curse that was implemented on his family. The narrator suspected that the political history of the Trujillo regime was the seed that started the superstitions in the...

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