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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Diaz. Narrative, Nerds and Masculinity. Junot Diaz. Born Dec 3, 1968 in Santo Domingo Immigrated to New Jersey in 1974 Completed BA English at Rutgers in 1992 MFA from Cornell in 1995 Drown published in 1996 Becomes professor of English at MIT in 2003

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the brief wondrous life of oscar diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Diaz

Narrative, Nerds and Masculinity

junot diaz
Junot Diaz
  • Born Dec 3, 1968 in Santo Domingo
  • Immigrated to New Jersey in 1974
  • Completed BA English at Rutgers in 1992
  • MFA from Cornell in 1995
  • Drown published in 1996
  • Becomes professor of English at MIT in 2003
  • Oscar Wao published in 2007
    • wins Pullitzer in 2008
the de leon family
The De Leon Family

Abelard Luis Cabral

&

Socorro

La Inca

Jack Pujols

The Gangster

De Leon

Jacquelyn Astrid HypatiaBelicia (Beli)

Yunior

Cuban Reuben

Oscar Lola

Isis

of what import are brief nameless lives to galactus
“Of what import are brief, nameless lives… to Galactus?”
  • Who is Galactus?
  • Whose lives are brief and nameless?
  • Of what significance is the life of a single person in the face of chaos and destruction?
either i m nobody or i m a nation
“either I’m nobody, or I’m a nation”
  • Second stanza of Derek Walcott’s “Schooner Flight”
  • Derek Walcott  poet of Santa Lucia
  • Who is Shabine?
  • Why must Shabine either be nobody or a nation? Could the same dichotomy apply to Oscar?
  • Significance of epigraphs:
    • Destructive force and legacies of colonialism
    • The tension between individual and community – to what extent can the story of a single individual convey the story of an entire community?
prologue
Prologue
  • What is fuku?
  • Why are we all its children?
  • How are Trujillo and fuku related?
  • “What more sci-fi than Santo Domingo? What more fantasy than the Antilles?... What more fuku?” (OW 1)
  • What is zafa? How is the story of Oscar “a zafa of sorts” (7)?
ghetto nerd at the end of the world
Ghetto Nerd at the End of the World
  • What is Oscar’s character like?
  • What is the “typical/normal” Dominican male supposed to be like?
    • Why can’t Oscar fulfill that norm?
  • What is the the effect of “love” on Oscar and his family?
  • How does love in OW compare/contrast with love in Sula?
wildwood
Wildwood
  • How does Oscar’s childhood compare/contrast with Lola’s?
  • What are the differences between the expectations of a Dominican son versus those of a Dominican daughter?
  • “She was my Old World Dominican mother and I was her only daughter, the one she had raised up herself with the help of nobody, which meant it was her duty to keep me crushed under her heel” (55).
    • Why would Lola’s mother believe this is her duty?
  • Why does Lola believe that we can’t judge her for how she treated her mother (55)?
  • Why can Lola only “begin” when La Inca starts the story of her grandfather and mother?