Themes in “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

Subject: Literature
Pages: 3
Words: 570
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Diaz Junot offers an astounding picture of the modern American experience. The narrator and other characters relate the endless and unfathomable atrocities that the dictator in their country committed. Notably, the unfair treatment compelled Oscar’s mother, Belicia Cabral to seek refuge in the United States. The author explores the seemingly endless human capacity to persevere in the contemporary America. In the United States, the immigrants have to endure a culture that is different from their own. The novel presents a multi-generational family saga marked by extreme violence. The readers learn that the members of the de Leon clan are afflicted by the fuku, a curse unleashed in Hispaniola upon the arrival of the Europeans. It is noteworthy that the plot of the novel revolves around Oscar de Leon, who becomes a victim of fuku. The author manages to highlight themes such as immigration, violence, masculinity and feminine sexuality as power.

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The theme of violence is well captured in the book. Beli, Oscar and Abelard are victims of violence. Majorly, the violence stems from betrayal of love. The characters use revenge as a tool of violence. The author uses Oscar, Belica, and Lola to highlight the theme of immigration. The characters are in the quest of finding where they truly belong. Similarly, an element of masculinity is a central theme in Diaz’s novel. Oscar lacks the capacity to fight and win his requited love. On the other hand, Yunior is muscular and possess sexual prowess. The author uses Yunior to depict the theme of masculinity. Notably, Yunior has sexual encounters with many girls. The portrayal of women as sexually desirable is evident in the novel. Lola uses her sexual power to attract men.

The reading of the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was interesting. Particularly, I was fascinated by one sentence that highlighted the plight of the Dominicans. The main character states, “every summer Santo Domingo slaps the Diaspora engine into reverse; yanks back as many of its expelled children as it can”. The aforementioned sentence indicates the effects of dictatorship on the citizens. The citizens of the Dominican Republic were forced to seek refuge in the United States. In the United States, the Dominicans have to struggle for identity. I contend that people have to fight for their territory, especially while in foreign lands. Similarly, the sentence shows the willingness of the Dominicans to return to their country. For example, Oscar intends to go back to his country of origin. Notably, Oscar reveals to his mother that his spirits urging him to return to his native country. Oscar’s decision to accompany his mother in her visit to the country of her origin in one summer shows the willingness of immigrants to return and rebuild their lives in the motherland.

In my opinion, the Junot Diaz presents the brutal effects of dictatorship. It appears that the dictator in the Dominican Republic used force to silence the opposing forces. This implies that only one person has the mandate to speak in governance that embrace dictatorship. Dictatorial leadership divides people, and anyone who opposes the rules risks becoming an immigrant. The author has vividly managed to offer a historical and political fragmentation of the nation during the dictatorial rule. Fundamentally, the reading of the novel has enabled me to understand the historical injustices that the citizens of the Dominican Republic faced under dictatorial rule.