Brief Wondrous Life Analysis

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao depicts how a supernatural curse seeps into the life of a family and dictates its diasporic experience in the United States. While they do not explicitly state it, all characters in Junot Diaz’ Brief Wondrous Life believe that diasporic life is the result of a supernatural curse, rather than “natural tragedy”; at pivotal moments, however, characters shift from a fear of fukú to a Fuck You and employ tools to dismantle it. Yunior, the character, explicitly states that he does not believe in fukú on multiple occasions, but implicitly believes in it through dictating the novel and attempting to convince the reader of its existence. It is necessary to describe Yunior as a character to aptly analyze the circumstances…show more content…
The desire to be cool and fit in manifests in his ‘realist’ views on the curse. “If you ask me I don’t think there is any such things as curses. I think there is only life.” (205). “The world is full of tragedies enough without niggers having to resort to curses for explanations” (152). As a Dominican-American attempting to drop the Dominican, Yunior denies the existence of fukú as curses and the supernatural are taboo in America. Outwardly, Yunior attributes the continual misfortunes of the Cabrals and numerous Dominicans to “natural tragedy,” but it becomes clear that Yunior is playing the same game as before. Yunior’s camouflaged historical knowledge and analytical skills attribute the diaspora to a much deeper root cause than “natural tragedy,” fukú. Rationally, it is easy to blame the events that happen in the story on “natural tragedy,” but that would be to ignore hundreds of years of a curse, originally inflicted by the Admiral and ‘the man who rowed him ashore’. “The Europeans [who caused the first diaspora in the Americas] were the original fukú, no stopping them.” (footnote #29, p. 244). According to Yunior, the curse was introduced into the New World by Columbus, who is mentioned often in the novel, and then perpetuated by the United States over time. While this curse may appear ancient, Yunior warns that it is very real and manifests throughout the book. In the Dominican Republic, Trujillo served as “the curse’s servant or its master, its agent or its principal, but it was clear he and it had an understanding, that them two was tight” (3). Trujillo is obligated to the curse and uses his power as head of state to inflict the curse upon anyone who insults him. While Trujillo may have been fukú’s chosen delegate in the DR, the supernatural curse is not bound to the island and follows people in the form of the diaspora. Trujillo in
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