Oscar Wao Character

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The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz is a novel that follows a family and its Fukú to and from the Dominican Republic and the United States. The stories involves a potentially non-existent curse called Fukú and its counter called Zafa. There is a loving, overweight, nontraditionally heroic protagonist named Oscar and other equally complex characters like his mother Beli. These characters seem to be continuously facing tragedy and negativity related to their appearance, particularly their skin color. In the end Fuku is left as an open-ended belief, Oscar ends up a hero in the eyes of the narrator, and Beli learns you cannot run from problems. This novel address how symbolic meanings do not necessarily equate to truth by opposes…show more content…
He is someone that throughout the story is constantly in high emotion and loves unconditionally. The very first line of the book Oscar is introduced as a hero, it states, “Our hero was not one of those Dominican cats everybody’s always going on about — he wasn’t no home-run hitter or a fly bachatero, not a playboy with a million hots on his jock” (11). Oscar was not someone that people think of as a traditional hero. He was obese, geeky, and extremely persistent, but that did not make him any less of a hero in the story. Oscar broke the typical idea of what a hero looks like and the majorities perception of one. The fact that Oscar is Dominican, has dark skin, and right from the first line in named a hero, immediately and implicitly opposes this idea present in both culture and fantasy that black is symbolic of villains. The story breaks the traditional representations of what a hero is and what is a villain by presenting someone who is black as a hero. This idea is something that is not very common due to racist culture in not just in the Dominican Republic but in America. By setting up the novel this way, it began to oppose the idea the blackness symbolizes something negative before examples of this presented themselves. Even within the very first chapter of the novel, these negative association and thoughts from people are present. For example, in school Oscar did not fit in, “The…show more content…
Starting when Beli is in school, she was in and class, and a Chinese student poked her and said that “you black, …black-black” (84). This comment emphasized the extend of racism towards those who are black. Not just people of color, but in this case, those are black, those who have very dark skin tones. After some time goes on, later in the book, Beli says that “I would let myself grow dark in the sun, no more hiding from it, let my hair indulge in all its kink, … That was the dream I had” (209). Beli had a vison, she wanted to leave and find a life where she could be completely herself. She wanted to be able to run off, escape and find a place where she would no longer be viewed in a negative way. She wanted to be her true self where there would be no worries about the sun making her any darker. It is important to see that she calls this a dream. It is something that is not realistic, running away is what she wanted, what she pictures would make things better, but that does not mean it would. Right after calling this a dream, she continues on to say that “But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in. And that’s what I guess these stories are all about” (209). There is so much passion in what she is saying. These challenges she has faced are something she knows she cannot hid
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