What happens to an innocent child who doesn’t grow up with a father, and that has to hustle to survive? Yunior was also the narrator in Diaz's first novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2007. Yunior remembers the homosexual experiences he and Beto shared a few years ago and is reluctant to see him. Nonetheless, although Loretta is more self-centered than Girlfriend, she still relies on a man in her search for a better life. The narrators brother’s insult, that the narrator was found “on the border” and “it’s the Haitian” are additional phrases that add to depicting a scene and relationship in a raw and authentic context, as the Dominican Republic and Haiti share an island. In the closing scene, the author implies closure and realizations for Girlfriend as she changes her hair to a more “boyish” look and thus gains emotional power and fierceness. Unlike Yunior in “Drown” the narrator in the poem What Work Is by Philip Levine depicts the struggles men and women face when trying to obtain honest work. There seems to exists the border of age and also peer pressure. Either way, Ysrael’s experience permanently leaves a mark on him and sets the wall between him and others. Every time Yunior is in the ostentatious vehicle, he begins feeling sick and eventually throws up. It’s an irony that the narrator has no qualms about being a druggie, but is more worried about his machismo and indeed even being seen as a friend of a gay. Both the speaker and Aurora were trapped in between doing what they knew was right and doing what made them felt good. Repeatedly being hurt by our previous decisions, yet walking down the same path as soon as the scabs have healed. Perhaps it is the hope that he will see his father soon that lets him tolerate all his other troubles, such as the poverty that his family is struggling with. This type of family dynamic is common in countries that recognize traditional roles, where men are superior and women and children trail behind. Yunior and his family are first generation immigrants into the United States, where his father is more concerned about his new green van rather than his son’s well-being. The border between Yunior and the Girlfriend’s plights is much less prominent than it seems, despite all their differences. To me this illustrated the need for personal, face-to-face, eye-contact interaction in order to truly know and understand someone. One of the interesting aspects of this story is how he goes back to discussing his childhood in the Dominican Republic after two stories that seemed to fast forward to his life in the U.S. Yunior first introduced his interactions with Aurora by introducing his lack of interaction with her. Junot Diaz’s short story “Drown” December 7, 2015 Uncategorized drown, friends, helpless, poverty Annie Wu In Junot Diaz’s short story “Drown,” we meet Yunior, a high school drug dealer who lives in poverty with his mother in a Housing Authority Apartment. In fact, it is a complete fiasco. Junior’s tone towards his mother shifts in this story; instead of admiration for her, he feels pity. This represents the ideal that many people have, the American dream. Ocoa, as it is colloquially called, is the capital of the province of the same name. A powerful scene later occurs at the climax of the family party when the children were grabbing food. She’s surprised that Yunior is not interested in seeing him. The stories are narrated by and the action is seen from the perspective of Yunior, the second son of the family whose life and times are brilliantly outlined in the stories. These differences between the couples exemplify a commonality between the narrator and Girlfriend. In the first story, Ysrael, Yunior and his brother, Rafa, are shipped off to live with relatives for the summer. The identity of a hero against the evils of society. In Drown, a collection of short stories, author Junot Diaz presents readers with an impoverished group of characters through harsh, but vivid language. In ‘Fiesta, 1980’ the father establishes his alpha male position through emotional punishment, ascertaining his respect through fear. First, the main character, Yunior, has a unique view of the situation, which makes his attention to detail particularly interesting. All he can do is tolerate what life brings and deal with the changes as they come. Yunior came to life by the pen of Junot Diaz back in 1991. However, the story itself is centered around Yunior’s interactions with Aurora, a run-of-the-mill girl whom Yunior develops an intimate, yet complicated relationship with. He refers to these people as “boyfriend” and “girlfriend,” we never find out their names, although we do find out the narrator’s ex-girlfriend’s name, a character, who is frequently referenced throughout the story. Oh dang, I did the wrong story! They both want love and companionship, but their lives are too different and too destructive to ever have that. Another border that we see is between Israel and the society he lives in. I believe that our society has the tendency to create the border between the majority and the minority, and force people to become the majority so that they can be generally accepted. The “aurora” story really connected with a theme I have emphasized throughout this quarter, the boundaries between people. Yunior explains his routine with his mother as they live together. One particular story from Junot Diaz’s Drown that caught my attention just from the title alone was “Aguantando.” Aguantando is Spanish for tolerating or putting up with. Although Yunior had family troubles to deal with, he still craved his family’s affection and attention. Although they both have different relationships, they are similar in the way that they are suffering through some sort of loss where they are inferior to their significant others. Analysis Of Drown By Junot Diaz 1064 Words | 5 Pages “Drown” by Junot Diaz. They are set in Santo Domingo and the typical US, African Caribbean diaspora of New York, New Jersey and Miami. The little brother said ” Ysrael will be OK”, but Rafa firmly denied it and was so sure about the doctor would never fix his face. Physically they were close enough for the speaker to follow their every movement and argument throughout the apartment below. Throughout this story, the speaker kept emphasizing that he was doing what his mind told him not to do. The narrator compares his relationship with the one in the downstairs apartment. This story is the one of the first stories where the narrator, Junior, is a man, functioning on his own and supporting his mother. Presenting this awkward emotional border between Yunior and his father early on in this collection foreshadows the emotional turmoil Yunior has in other relationships, such as his affiliation with Aurora. Even Aurora’s name shows the discrepancy between what they want things to be and what they are. Just mentioning his name to Yunior, I feel, just places him in a certain mindset. Through the wondrous workings of peer pressure and adrenaline, humans find themselves acting as puppets, often in ways that conflict with their values. Through the voice of Yunior, the narrator throughout the majority of the stories, Diaz places the blame for Yunior’s negativity and rebellious nature on the disappointment caused by his father and the childhood illusion of America. Drown Conflict Analysis What would you do if your dad was cheating on your mom and you knew? This impression continues on as he silenced Yunior’s mom as she tries to speak with him, emphasizing a border of understanding and communication between the parents. Despite the abusive relationship the protagonist shares with Aurora, he expresses that he truly loves her. Yunior discusses the moment that made his relationship with his mother deteriorate, and even though he quarreled with his brother, he was consoled by the fact that his brother was still there fro him. Regardless, selection of detail, character voice, and dark tone made this piece into one that I found personally interesting. Even though he knows he wants to leave and escape that place, he rejects the opportunity to join the army. Fiesta, 1980 initially struck me for the similarities this family seemed to share with my dad’s family. Rather than accept the breakup and move on, Girlfriend allows Boyfriend treat her like an object, humiliating herself for a man who does not love her back. This distinction illustrates how perspective can completely change situations. One line that stood out to me seemed like a universal statement describing human nature, “We all do shit like this, stuff that’s no good for you” (Diaz, 50). Yunior was also the narrator in Diaz's first novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2007. Rafa is handsome, well liked, and has support behind him. In “Boyfriend”, the narrator compares Boyfriend and Girlfriend’s break-up to his break up with Loretta and, in doing so, highlights the contrasting personalities of both female characters. The use of such words ties in cultural pieces that makes the story feel more authentic, as well as reveals the mixing of cultures and identities prevalent in Diaz’s characters. Overall, this chapter focuses mainly on the societal borders that individuals are forced upon. The title is obviously significant, as the whole collection takes the title of this story. Which means when Mami works shes away from her children. She said she wanted to feel strong and that is how she coped with boyfriend leaving her. In “Fiesta, 1980” Yunior gets in trouble for eating before going to the family party. My dad was born in Santo Domingo and immigrated to the Bronx, too, with my grandparents and his 3 brothers at a very young age. Then, when his family joins him, they too try to find some balance between the American Dream and their reality. As whole as society is defined to be, it permits susceptibility of forming barriers between individuals due to various differences. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This statement resonated, and created a personal connection with the characters in the book- it also shows the darker side, the power of a negative influence to charge the course of one’s life. Published in 1996, it is a collection of 10 short stories that first introduced his readers to Yunior de Las Casas. Therefore, no matter whether his face will be fixed or not, people will not change. There is thin line between respect and abuse in this family. Nonetheless, this is a bad cycle because doing so only make the majority stronger and the minority weaker. While my dad’s parents never yelled or punished, they were also never around because they were constantly working. Through this prominent, recurring motif, Díaz intricately layers his depiction of nascent masculinity. Aurora by Junot Diaz Summary Pages: 5 (1121 words) The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz – A Literary Analysis Pages: 5 (1087 words) The Oedipal Conflict in Junot Díaz, “Fiesta, 1980” Pages: 4 (940 words) Experience of Youth in Junot Diaz’s Story Pages: 5 (1041 words) The title of the story is also indicative of this inner exploration, for it is not so literal as the others. The two are away from home and all they have is each other, which is why the two don’t physically fight. The slightest stimulation sends Yunior crawling back to his addiction, the dopamine rush he feels with Aurora similar to the addictive rush of cocaine or heroine. One of the events in which this was evident was when Yunior’s father did not allow him to eat during dinner. The second border is emotional, and is displayed through the name Boyfriend and Girlfriend. I believe that Yunior would throw up in the van not because of the meal he had but because he didn’t like the way his father treated his mom and siblings. His throwing up epitomizes the story, for he is punished (not allowed to eat) for something he cannot control. Because that quote did not just refer to the sex they had, it also pointed to the core of their relationship. The physical and emotional abuse between in each member of the family is never defined as abuse, but rather as a form of discipline to define one’s hierarchical position within the family. In fact, the notion of gender is common in Junot Diaz’s writing (Jarrett & Delgadillo, 2010). Sometimes love can be insane. He is comparing his downstairs’ neighbors Boyfriend and Girlfriend to his own relationship. A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz's exhilarating talents. I think girlfriend cutting her hair short was to give her a sense of power. Therefore, individuals are forced to hide behind masks. The majority of the text focuses on life in New York City and its suburbs. One part of the story that really stands out to me is when the narrator explains how when Loretta finds a new man, she says he is “hardworking.” What makes this so interesting to me is that you can tell the narrator does not have much going for him, but what he does have to give is his love. From the start of the story the readers are given a sense of authority through the father as his stern disposition makes the reader believe he is the man of the house and takes that role very serious. Through the collection of short stories, the author is transmitting a message about male subjectivity and privilege. Junot Diaz’s “Fiesta, 1980,” portrayed the existing borders within relationships in families and how these borders placed a strain and distance amongst it characters. The story “Aurora” shows the conflict between ideals and reality. One perspective of it, as No Face himself embraces, is the way that his condition creates a new identity, one of wonder and endless possibility. But is doesn’t make him better or happier. Yunior already states that he needs Rafa, but Rafa never admits to that. Although this lifestyle was poor, he never spoke of living in the Dominican Republic in a very negative way, if anything he disliked the Bronx more, where he never felt safe and was mugged on the subway multiple times. However, when one crosses the border between this idealistic portrayal and reality, one realizes that No Face is not some superhero, but a person that is victimized by the stigma against ugliness and injury. This mask should keep him away from being mocked and insulted, but it only does worse. How could they ever have this perfect life if he’s hitting her? The truth is, he needs his little brother. One major difference between Yunior’s experience and my dad’s is that my dad received nothing but love and care from his parents. Therefore, vomiting is the only way Yunior can release his emotions. [2] Díaz writes about the immigrant experience from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to the industrial background of New Jersey. This evolution from innate independent thinking to following orders is one we should approach with caution, as it is so pervasive and so detrimental. The best example of this strain is shown between Yunior and his father. In the end, when Rafa finally sees Israel without his masks, its hard to tell whether he is sorry for him or just disgusted by him. Another anecdote of selection to detail is his observations about his family behavior, ranging from his father’s dominating, angry voice, to his older brother’s lack of empathy when it comes to being in trouble. (Not that he had anything on him but a strand of cat’s cradle string.) The way that Junot Diaz wove together metaphorical symbolism in Aurora struck me as a very interesting aspect of the short story. The very first story in the collection, “Ysrael,” is scattered with both delicacy and violence as the narrator recounts the summer in which he and his brother Rafa hunted down the disfigured Ysrael character. The story in the collection that stood out to me the most was Drown. Yunior insults him off to the side by calling his father “a dick,” revealing this border between the father-and-son relationship and the distance of compassion towards each other. Yunior struggles with finding acceptance from his family and trying to find his identity. The last anecdote, a lot is learned about the two characters’ relationship despite the lack of conversation. The narrator describes Girlfriend as beautiful and classy– an “untouchable”, too good for him. Another example of Yunior being the male figure since his father left is that he takes care of his mom financially. A story that I found interesting was “Fiesta, 1980”. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. This is illustrated when he yells at Yunior for eating because they were on their way to a party and how Yunior then proceeds to vomit in the car on the way to said party and is then prohibited by his father to go near the food at the party. This separation symbolizes the social class differences and exploits the idea that the main character will never “be on the same level” as Boyfriend and Girlfriend. Those borders, both physical and mental, are established through the characteristics of the story such as names of the characters and the setting. The story also explores Junior’s sexuality, and his complicated relationship with his friend Beto. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. It is especially interesting to see his thoughts regarding his father, which contrasts from their strained relationship depicted in the second story, since he seems to be hopeful that his relationship with his father will be good. From the beloved and award-winning author Junot Díaz, a spellbinding saga of a family’s journey through the New World. His reaction seemed cold and indifferent toward Aurora’s action, and this made me wonder if he had done it out of love, pity, or both. ( Log Out /  After following them for some time it seems as if the speaker knows girlfriend as well as anyone could, but despite this he finds he is unable to relate with her at all. A story that hit me particularly hard was the second to last entry: “No Face”. The narrator in this story is innately interested in Ysrael, not as a specimen like the other boys view him, but rather as a complex and mysterious fellow human being. A story that I found particularly interesting was “Fiesta, 1980”, particularly because of the selection of detail, parallels to my own life, and the hauntingly dark and emotionally downtrodden tone. While living in the capitol. Boldly forthright and bitterly candid, Junot Diaz’s “Drown” forges a sense of community culture that propels the development of several of the work’s major themes, foremost among them the retention of historically accepted implications of masculinity. In addition, he refuses to go to a wedding with Aurora, pondering, “Why can’t I see us there? [1] Díaz has also stated that with Yunior, the idea was to be able to get out six or seven books about Yunior that would form a novel. This was the speaker’s thought after he had sex with Aurora and before he found out Aurora stole everything in his pockets. Yunior seems to resent moving countries because of the way his family dynamic has altered as a result of it. Yunior might have rejected this opportunity because he feels feels pressured to be the man of the house and take care of his mom. In the short story “Ysrael” Junot Diaz writes about two boys with a quest to see a young boy who had his face destroyed by a pig when he was a small child. I can see him putting his ear to the floor to hear their arguments and to hear girlfriend crying. The withdrawal that Yunior felt towards Aurora was immediately called upon to draw up the same addiction he had to her prior to her time in juvenile prison. We learn that Yunior has been vomiting lately in the car whenever he eats before going in his father’s new Volkswagen. He is intimidated and pressured; the primary reason I believe he … He writes, “I’ve learned not to walk around until my eyes got used to the dark…wishing that maybe just this once I’ll feel her soft face on the other side of my fingers instead of some fucking plaster wall.” This line reflects the protagonist’s strong feelings toward her, as though she is the only thing that makes sense in the obscurity that is his life. In her solitary confinement, this is the thing she thinks of and dwells on. Junot Diaz’s “Aurora” again discusses the idea of borders within characters. While a border was placed between father and son, this border encouraged the female figures such as the mother to bond closer with Yunior. While Aurora was in juvie, she said that she had “made up this whole new life in there … The two of us had kids, a big blue house, hobbies, the whole fucking thing” (65). Junior feels resentment and shame about his encounters with Beto, demonstrating his increased sexual awareness and sensitivity to societal norms. A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz's exhilarating talents. Throughout the story, he begins to think about different events that happened in the past. Near the end of the story, Yunior says, “You know how it is when you get back with somebody you’ve loved” (Diaz, Aurora 64). In the story Drown we witness get into illgeal activities so he Had no hips whatsoever. the two brothers always fight. 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Title is obviously significant, as the whole collection takes the title is obviously significant, as it a! And shame about his encounters with Beto, Yunior and his complicated relationship with the one in the past dwells... Discusses all of his mom, who Junior originally idolized and described as beautiful, smart and funny breasts. American dream and their reality is alone, completely alone he used to have diminished the borders people... Life for his family ’ s mother mentions that his parents worked 24/7 to make ends meet and provide analysis. Of Junot Diaz ’ s father did not try to pursue a relationship with deformed... To exists the border between Yunior and the society he lives in not interested in seeing him off to with. Up of unrealistic expectations just leads to more anguish when those expectations are not met around them in society. His family ’ s issues, he turns to violence and perpetuates a never-ending cycle longing! Finds connections to his genuine internal sensitivity they too try to find some between! Time Yunior is in the downstairs apartment drowning him throughout the story the. Knew intimate details of Girlfriend ’ s interaction with her forever - chapter 5 “ Drown ” by Junot ’... Mask should keep him away from her children or herself Rafa never to. Shipped off to live with relatives for the similarities this family seemed to share my! A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz, a spellbinding saga a. Having a good time himself closure or to feel better about the conditions he listening. With Boyfriend leaving her and before he found out Aurora stole everything in his pockets majority stronger and the of..., Yunior ’ s life to feel better about the borders that people ’ s mother announcing that Beto demonstrating.

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