Fiesta 1980

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Fiesta, 1980
Christy Lamacki
Literature Appreciation
Jennifer Ambrose

As children, we look up to our parents for guidance and knowledge. What they do and how they act can influence our lives in a major way. In Fiesta 1980, Diaz demonstrates the ill effects a terrible father can have on his children through the narration of a young boy named Yunior. Yunior is a Hispanic boy who just immigrated to the United States with his family. The family consists of a mother, father, two sons and a daughter. His refers to his father as Papi and his mother as Mami. He has a younger sister named Madai and an older brother named Rafa. It is tough on the family to pick up and move from their home. Not only do the kids try hard to fit in, but they also struggle with their home life. Their father is portrayed by Diaz as a womanizer, an abuser and a cheater. He is tearing apart his children’s lives by having an affair with another woman. The fact that they know about the affair and cannot tell their mother is killing them. Yunior seems to be affected the most by his father’s behaviors. By the plot and the use of characters, Diaz does a great job showing how children can be traumatized by their parent’s actions. The story Fiesta 1980 takes place in the Bronx New Jersey. The family moved there when they left the Dominican Republic. Mami’s youngest sister finally made it to the United States that same year and they decided to have a party to celebrate. The family was getting ready to head to the party when the dad finally decided to show up. The children made sure they were ready or Papi “would have kicked our asses”(Diaz, 1996, p.95). The kids were very frightened of their father. He seemed to be a very intimidating man. Rafa was the oldest of the children. He wasn’t as frightened as Yunior and Madai were.

The conflict of the story was between Papi and Yunior. Papi seemed to dislike Yunior the most. Yunior said, “I was the one who was always in trouble with my dad. It was...
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