Characterization of Yunior
Junot Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated with his family to New Jersey, where a collection of his short stories are based from. Out of that collection is a short story “Fiesta, 1980”, which was featured in The Best American Short Stories, 1997. This story is told from the perspective of an adolescent boy, who lives in the Bronx of northern New Jersey with his family. He is having trouble understanding why things are the way they are in his family. Diaz shows Yunior’s character through his cultures, his interaction with his family, and his bitterness toward his father. To show what kind of character Yunior is Diaz shows him through the two different cultures he has to live with daily. “arrived here (the United States) three years before” (Diaz, 171). Yunior and his family came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. He is trying to keep living by his native culture, while learning to adapt to the American way of life. He tries adapting by fitting in with the local kids. “Not that me and Rafa loves baseball; we just like to hang with the local kids” (171). It is difficult to blend two cultures but Yunior seems to be able to get along just fine. Diaz also shows what kind of character Yunior is by his interaction with his family. “me, I never wanted to go anywhere with my family” (171). The relationships Yunior has with his family are ones of tolerance. He and his brother, Rafa, are always at odds. He considers his brother “a low-down chickenshit” (172), because Rafa always “moves out of the way every time Papi was going to smack me” (172). From interactions with his Mami, Yunior has gotten a little religious. Mami always “pokes us in our five cardinal spots while saying, Que Dios te bendiga” (172) as Yunior is about to walk out the door. Now every time he leaves the house the words following him around everywhere. Finally Diaz shows what kind of character Yunior is through the bitterness he has toward his...
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