Drown

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The story "Drown" sets in the summer time in New Jersey. Diaz and his friend Beto are raging, out of control, in their neighborhood known as the ghetto. They" stole, broke windows...pissed on peoples steps and then challenged them to come out and stop us." While Diaz has another year of high school, Beto for college on the other hand is leaving for college at the end of the summer. Diaz has several recurring feelings such as, suffocation, problems defining his masculinity, and being trapped, problem is that Diaz would rather stay trapped in the Ghetto if it means not turning out like Beto. Why does Diaz use the metaphor drown? Why does Diaz struggle with masculinity? Does Diaz want to come up for air or continue to suffocate?

In "Drown" the setting plays a key role in the story. Diaz described his neighborhood as, " The broken apart buildings, little strips of grass, the piles of garbage around the cans, and the dump"(Drown 91). The neighborhood where Diaz live shapes his life, so it plays an important role in the story. Most of Diaz anxiety is caused by the fact that he cannot leave his neighborhood, because he fears the outcome once in the outside world. Another setting that is important is the pool. The pool is described in a way that is similar to the neighborhood where Diaz live, " The water feels good... while everything above me is loud and bright, everything below is whispers..." this particular quote coincides with the fact that Diaz is trapped, but he'd rather stay below than come up and see the outcome of him leaving for the outside world like Beto.

The metaphor suffocation occurs throughout the story and ties to the story title itself. In this story Diaz shows it more at the pool scene, it seem as Diaz move through the story, but something always draws him back to the pool where most of his drowning occur. This particular metaphor is used in several parts of the story, for instance, Diaz is suffocating where he lives because of all the...
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