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Papi’s Control
Junot Diaz, author of “Fiesta, 1980,” highlights the life of a Dominican Republic family. The story is set in 1980, Bronx, NY and centers around Yunior, the main character, narrative of their everyday life, his father Papi, and the events leading up to the “Fiesta.” Papi suggests a “Fiesta” (which means party in Spanish) and the entire family accepts the idea. This act set the underlining tone of Papi’s domineering presence. In this story, Papi displays different aspects of his controlling personality by demanding respect, creating unhealthy fear with his family, and making his sons feel complicit by exposing them to the knowledge of his adulterous relationship.
Papi’s personality from the beginning exhibits his commanding presence by his suggestion to have a party and the family falling in line. Yunior, the protagonist, starts the story by explaining how his mother, brother, and sister are ready and waiting when his father arrives home. This is a smart move on behalf of the family as Yunior explains, “If Papi had walked in and caught us lounging around in our underwear, man, he would have kicked our asses something serious,” (Diaz, 271). This statement illustrate the family members understanding of what Papi’s expectations are and if they do not adhere a penalty will be given. It is also clear that Papi rules the family from the minute he arrives home. For instance, when he arrives home he does not say a word, but comes into the house and proceeds into the bathroom to take a shower. Yunior shares how the Papi displays his power by putting up his hand to silence and dismiss his mother until he is ready to talk. Yunior’s mother did not protest Papi’s arrogant behavior and other signs of his overbearing personality. Which are evident in the way she anxiously adjusts her belt buckle over and over again. Yunior also gives insight into his mother understanding and non- confrontational response to Papi when he asks the question about whether...
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