Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

In the book “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by the Author, Junot Díaz, begins the story by telling the story of the curse of the fukú and how the fukú is “real as shit”.  In the book the fukú is known as a supernatural curse that is believed in by Hispanic families, they believe that the fukú has cursed their family, but Oscar does not believe that the fukú is a real curse put on him nor his family. In the beginning of the first chapter, the theme of masculinity (specifically Dominican masculinity) is presented within the first couple of sentences. Oscar’s bad luck with women and his interest in fantasy fiction has characterized him as an outsider in life. Oscar is teased throughout high school and college; people saying that he is “not a real Dominican”. Although people tease him saying he is not Dominican he represents the how Dominican/Hispanic immigrants are thought to be outsiders in many cases. The theme of love and violence is also demonstrated within the first chapter of the book. The fact that as a child Oscar was always pressured to be a “Casanova” (seducer of women) and that he was always taught that he could not receive nor maintain love without the aspect of violence; that there must be violence in order to gain the respect and the love of a woman. The theme of love and violence which is also shown at the point where Oscar falls in love with Ana, but Manny, Ana’s abusive and controlling ex-boyfriend comes back from the army because of drug problems. Oscar is in love with Ana but she is drawn to the controlling and violent Manny instead of Oscar; who seems just about perfect for her. The next chapter begins by being written in the second person and is being told by Oscar’s sister Lola. It begins by giving the backstory from Lola’s perspective about the time her mother Belicia called her to the bathroom to feel a lump in her breast. When Lola feels the lump in her breast she believes she gets what she calls “bruja” (witch) feelings. This introduces the theme of supernatural. When she gets these bruja feelings it is a sign that either something must happen or what is going on is of significant importance. When Lola felt that bump that was a huge turning point in Lola’s life. As the primary source of Belicia’s sex appeal and therefore also her source of power was her breast; after, her mastectomy she lost her power over Lola as well. Lola decided to completely cut off all her hair and this creates a sense of similarity between both Belicia and Lola since both physical features symbolize femininity.The theme of love and violence is once again shown but this time it is shown from the perspective of Lola and her relationship with Belicia. Belicia loves Lola and therefore she believes that she must use violence in order to control and keep Lola safe. The theme of love and violence is also shown in her relationship with Aldo. Lola attempts to use the power of sex and the power of the love that she believes she has for Aldo, but it only ends in unpleasure, arguments, and fights. Once Lola and Belicia are reunited Belicia sends Lola to live with her grandmother La Inca. In DR with La Inca Lola find out that her mom was also just as rebellious as herself.  The following chapter now returns to the point of view of the original narrator but now continues to tell the life story of Oscar and Lola’s mother, Belicia Cabral. This now continues to pick up from where Lola and her grandmother, La Inca were talking about Belicia’s “rebellious” stage of her life just like Lola was going through. The story of Beli is told to emphasize the point that without Beli and her story neither Oscar nor Lola would have been born. Continuing with the theme of supernatural Beli, just like Lola in chapter 2 has her own set of powers, although they aren’t the same bruja possessions that Lola possesses, Beli possesses the power of her sex appeal towards men. This power is what lures men to Beli. The theme of love and violence once again appears in this chapter in both physical situations and psychological situations. The first scenario in this chapter with the connection between love and violence is when Beli is with Jack Pujols. Beli falls in love with Jack but he does not treat her right and has continuous sex with Beli in the janitors closet which causes pain to Beli. Beli deals with the pain due to the fact that she is in love with Jack and he tells her that he is going to marry her. The second scenario has to do with the psychological damage that Dionisio (the gangster) caused Beli. He would always promise Beli that he would marry her, buy her a house, and would always be there for her. Dionisio made Beli empty promises that left her damaged on the inside. Adding on to the psychological damage done to Beli by Dionisio, Dionisio would constantly leave for days and even weeks at a time without notice leaving Beli hurt and broken inside. To continue with the theme of love and violence, Beli was in love with Dionisio who also happened to be married to a Trujillo; Trujillo’s sister herself, known as “La fea”. Once La fea found out that Beli was pregnant with Dionisio’s  child La fea sent her goons after Beli and they almost beat Beli to death. In the process of Beli’s beating, Beli lost her unborn child. Due to Beli’s love for Dionisio it cost her her unborn child and almost her life. In this chapter the man without a face makes his first appearance. This unknown character appears throughout the book as a signal that the fukú curse is present. In continuation of the supernatural theme in this book, Beli possesses the powers of her sex appeal, La Inca’s prayers are what causes the zafa (charm) that saved Beli from being beat to death, and the fact that there is a talking and singing mongoose giving advice and helping Beli find her way out of the canefield. This shows the supernatural element in this chapter. In chapter the narrator is finally revealed to be Yunior, Oscar’s roommate at the University. Yunior is theoretically the complete opposite of Oscar. Yunior is the perfect example of a “Dominicano,” everything Oscar’s family wishes him to be. At the beginning what Oscar tells Yunior about the fukú and his curse, Yunior doesn’t believe Oscar and just brushes it off. In this chapter we also learn where Oscar got the name “Oscar Wao”; Oscar’s nickname came from when he dressed up as the character Doctor Who for Halloween but Yunior though he looked like the homosexual writer, Oscar Wilde, and Yunior’s friend heard “Oscar Wao” instead of Oscar Wilde. Even though  Oscar is not a homosexual he is a writer and therefore the name stuck, this shows the theme of outsiders because Oscar has no rule on what happens to him. Oscar embraces the fact that he is an outsider by the fact that he doesn’t let Yunior try to convince him to change things in order to be considered “normal” instead he accepts the fact that he is on the outside and remains himself. The theme of love and violence is once again touched on in chapter 4 by the fact that Jenni Muñoz also known as La Jablesse had a fling with Oscar and once Jenni got a new boyfriend she cut off Oscar. Oscar walked in on Jenni naked with her new boyfriend and Oscar lost it and started yelling and tearing posters off her wall. On the last day of their school year Yunior and Oscar get drunk and once Yunior leaves Oscar continues to leave a suicide note for Beli, Lola, Yunior, and Jenni and also continues to drink more and walk onto the train bridge. Once the train begins to approach Oscar the Golden Mongoose appears and simply stares into Oscars eye’s and just as quick as it appeared it disappeared. After the Golden Mongoose disappeared Oscar proceeded to jumping off the bridge but luckily thanks to the presence of the mongoose Oscar lands on the grass diver that divides the highway below. The appearance of the Golden Mongoose is another example of the supernatural theme of the book. The Golden Mongoose was also able to save Beli’s life when she was in the cane fields and was nearly beat to death. Since the unknown man with no face is a signal that the fukú is present then the Golden Mongoose is a signal that the zafa is present. Near the end of the chapter Yunior and Lola fall in love. Yunior and Lola promise to never lie, but based on the fact that Yuniors lie basically revolves around lying, this is very difficult for Yunior and while Yunior is trying his best the reader knows that Yunior’s failure to remain truthful and faithful with those he loves will eventually become reality. In the introduction to part 2 of the book it begins with a quote that states “For Trujillo is not a man. He is ….a cosmic force…” this touches on the theme of supernatural by saying that Trujillo is a cosmic force. Chapter 5 continues from the narration of Yunior but instead tells the story of Abelard, Beli’s biological father and La Inca’s cousin. This chapter also includes the theme of supernatural by giving the story of how the fukú curse begins in the Cabral family. The theme of love and violence is also slightly touched on because the fact that Abelard loves his daughters’ and he wishes to protect them from Trujillo and therefore since Trujillo does not receive what he wants Abelard is sentenced to jail and violence is struck upon him. Chapter 6 also continues to be narrated by Yunior but is not continuing the story from the Oscars perspective. This chapter also included the theme of being an outsider; Oscar is now a teacher at his old high school but is still made fun of for being nerdy and fat. The theme of love and violence is also once again shown in this chapter by the relationship Oscar has with Ybón, La Inca’s neighbor. Oscar falls in love with Ybón although she is 39 years old, a “puta” who makes money off selling her body. and has multiple boyfriends. El Capitan (Ybón’s boyfriend does not like that Oscar is in love with Ybón) has two cops take Oscar out to the cane fields and beat him. This shows how love cannot happen without violence following quickly after. The supernatural theme is also present in chapter 6. While Oscar is getting beat in the cane fields by the 2 cops, Gorilla Grod and Solomon Grundy, Oscar swears that a third man joins them, the faceless man. The faceless man is a sign that the fukú is present the supernatural theme.  Later on Oscar dreams that the Golden Mongoose appeared while he was getting beat and had asked him if he wanted more or less. Oscar had initially said less but then began thing about his mother and sister and said more. The Golden Mongoose is a sign just like the faceless man but instead of signal for fukú the mongoose signals for zafa. In chapter 7 Oscar returns to Santo Domingo in hopes to reconcile with Ybón. Oscar stalks Ybón and Ybón tells him he has to leave. One day Ybón picks up Oscar and they go for a ride and they are able to talk. Revealed later in the book Oscar was able to get physically intimate with Ybón. El Capitan goes to the Riverside where Oscar and Ybón were and Oscar leave. Later on El Capitan sends Gorilla Grod and Solomon Grundy for Oscar. The Cops take Oscar once again to the cane field and proceed to killing him. This show the theme of love and violence once again by showing that Oscar was killed because of his unconditional love for Ybón. In the car to the cane fields before Oscar was killed he sees his family getting onto a bus with the Golden Mongoose as the driver and the faceless man as the conductor. This shows the supernatural theme by showing the symbols for fukú and zafa leading the life of the his family. In chapter 8 Yunior continues the story from his point of view say that he still dreams of Oscar and that during his dreams Oscar is often faceless demonstrating the supernatural theme and that even though Oscar has died the fukú continues to live on. The book “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” is a book with multiple themes telling the story Oscar de León “Oscar Wao” and how his life came about by also giving the story of his mother, sister, and grandfather all narrated by Oscar’s college roommate Yunior.

Post Author: admin


I'm Glenda!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out