seems to fit with this hopeful perspective, but Trujillo’s manipulation of the past through his own narrative complicates Hall’s vision. What's certain is that nothing’s certain. The project of writing the book, of recording the history of the de Leon family, seems to have rescued Yunior from a dangerous life; more important, it seems to have come from Oscar. This “racism of color” (Hall 242) in the novel can be read as a manifestation of what Hall calls Présence Européenne. The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz 56-page comprehensive study guide Features detailed chapter by chapter summaries and multiple sections of expert analysis The ultimate resource for class assignments, lesson planning, or … On one level, the fukú is simply a curse like other curses, bringing misfortune to a woman who had “been denied happiness because she laughed at a rival’s funeral” (Díaz 5). Harvard University | Harvard College Writing Program. unrealized desire for love while growing up in New Jersey. This summary of the novel, and particularly La Inca’s project of retelling a shared family history, resonates strongly with Stuart Hall’s theory of identity formation undertaken by entire cultures. Copyright © 2010–11 President & Fellows of Harvard College. Throughout the novel, Oscar creates new worlds out of blank pages, showing the creative space and potential of a blank page. Junot Diaz’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao is an achingly beautiful, irresistibly harrowing depiction of Dominican Republic. In fact, Hall’s theory of cultural identity provides a useful apparatus for teasing out one possible interpretation from Díaz’s fragmented novel. Indeed, to take the novel only at its face value — as a recounting of the history of the de Leon family stretching from the Dominican Republic under Rafael Trujillo to diaspora in New Jersey — is to rob it of vital context and some of its most compelling themes. The fukú as described by Yunior participates in an intimate but ambiguous association with Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic around midcentury. The history of the Dominican Republic under Trujillo is replete with such paginas en blanco, both figurative and literal. That value, however, is by no means a constant. One might argue, of course, that Yunior’s steadfast insistence on the truth lends his history more authority than the narratives it attempts to replace. Hall, Stuart. When Yunior, waking up after yet another cocaine trip, finally responds to the dream, he says, “OK, Wao, OK. You win” (Díaz 325), implying that the dream is in fact responsible for Yunior’s writing of the book. While the images of darkness and this blank page may seem contradictory, their juxtaposition illuminates a critical distinction. The history of this culture, scarred by the violence of colonialism and the horrors of slavery, mirrors Beli’s own experiences in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; for the Dominicans who populate Díaz’s novel, the tortured past is, to some degree, a blank page, a dark period they prefer to be left unexamined. I have never read a novel that had so much profanity in it, let alone one that used the profanity to help the book along. Hall develops this definition with particular regard to the cultural identity of the Caribbean peoples, a diverse group for whom the concept of a shared history centered on Africa is more myth than fact. its recreation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. Before 1951, our orphaned girl had lived with another foster family, monstrous people if the rumors are to be believed, a dark period of her life neither she nor her madre ever referenced. Yunior then has to piece together Oscar’s lessons for himself, coming to a more satisfying answer. As demonstrated by both the epic narrative constructed by Trujillo and the gritty, realistic account of Yunior, retellings of the past are powerful but short lived. First and foremost, Yunior, as the narrator, sets himself up in opposition to the Dominican tendency toward amnesia in dealing with a troubled past. Throughout the novel, blank pages are a reminder that someone has to control your story – it could be someone else with a malicious agenda, or it could be you. Yunior’s truth–seeking narrative certainly. Trujillo, of course, is not the only individual with the ability to recreate history; Yunior, too, as the novel’s narrator, has the same ability. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz follows a three generational battle with fuku and the infamous dictator Trujillo. Dorky, overweight and painfully self-deprecating, Oscar is far from an example of hegemonic Dominican masculinity in that he is lacking sexual experience, a suave personality, conventionally fit … Furthermore, as Hall suggests, the formation of cultural identity is not simply a matter of “archeology,” or the uncovering of historical truth; it is a matter of “production,” of reimagining and reinventing the past (235). In another sense, the blank page represents the false veneer of wholeness and purity concealing true, conflicted history. Dominican males according to Yunior, the narrator of the novel, is someone who has power and pizzazz, dominates women, controls female sexuality through physical violence and verbal aggression and lastly protects their family. This project of retelling is explicitly a project of redemption. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Homework Help Questions. (78), — Junot DíazThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao demands that its interpretation grapple with historical forces writ large. Filling the Blank Pages in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Filling the Blank Pages. In the first. Interpreted in this manner, the dream forces Oscar to confront the emptiness of a history suppressed by centuries of authoritarian rule and cultural self–deception. But the fukú is actually much more insidious. To learn more about Exposé's print and digital aspects, visit the About page. Even when the dictator does not interfere directly with history, the fear he engenders in his people does it for him. Présence Américaine, Hall’s final presence, refers to the land of the New World as the space where the European and African worlds collided; it signifies for Hall displacement, marginalization, diaspora (243). Cultural identity for Díaz is a site of conflict, in which redemption is possible but never realized. For Hall, the coexistence of these Présences in Caribbean identity evidences the complex fluidity that subverts the view of identity as stable, singular, and anchored. Each character, and even the reader, then has the freedom (and the responsibility) to decide what should go on those pages. Putting these two forces together, and looking into possible ramifications for a theory of cultural identity, will help us piece together a better understanding of the novel’s cultural and historical place. The only answer I can give you is the least satisfying: you'll have to decide for yourself. Composed by author Junot Diaz ‘Marvelous life of Oscar Wao’ the book is a fiction work embeded in New jersey, where the author was raised, however handle his ancestral homeland Dominican republic when it was under the rule of Rafael Trujillo who was a dictator. But Oscar and Yunior seem to believe that telling the history of the de Leon family will, somehow, counteract the fukú that haunts them. Adopting Yunior’s version of history, then, would be a simple reversion to the. This was also annoying because it meant that I couldn't really read on the subway or elsewhere without an internet connection, unless I wanted to miss out on half of the story. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Power. A summary of Part X (Section6) in Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Just before his death, Oscar writes a letter to his sister Lola telling her to expect a package from him containing his writings, which he calls “the cure to what ails us… The Cosmo DNA” (Díaz 332), referencing a wish–fulfilling machine from a comic book series. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. quite well to a subset of that group, the Dominican people, who take center stage in Junot’s novel. Throughout the novel, Díaz eschews the custom of distinguishing foreign language words via italics; this device is a crucial part of his self–described attempt “to forge a voice that had in it as many linguistic registers and idioms as [he] could fit” (“Junot Díaz: An Interview”). But Oscar does drop several cryptic clues. This summary of the novel, and particularly La Inca’s project of retelling a shared family history, resonates strongly with Stuart Hall’s theory of identity formation undertaken by entire cultures. Here, Hall’s analysis of the Caribbean identity provides an effective lens to examine the nature of the original conflict in the Dominican identity as depicted in the novel. Willing to follow him, they further their “amnesia” in attempting to ignore their unpleasant history. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. By focusing on Trujillo’s flawlessness and the idealized origins of his regime, Nanita’s biography conforms to what M.M Bakhtin calls the “constitutive feature” (13) of the epic: Oscar de Leon is the character’s given name. For Hall, who refrains from making value judgments about cultural identities, the concept of redemption through reimagining the past may be irrelevant. Instead, it is a “dark period” never to be referenced, a pagina en blanco (Díaz 78) or a blank page. Mongooses appear throughout The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao as guardians of the family. Yunior introduces the fukú in the preface to the novel, describing it as a curse unleashed by the European colonization of the New World, the cataclysmic event responsible for the conflict between what Hall would recognize as the three Présences (1). ; it is redemptive themselves through the roof. 243 ) dictator, Trujillo! 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