The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Topics: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Curse, Dominican Republic Pages: 9 (3698 words) Published: November 22, 2010
“FUKÚ” is an atavistic deadly curse that follows the De León family, and everything that can go wrong for them does. However, I believe that the fukú is only a consequence of their actions and a way for them to rationalize their misfortunes. The characters are using fukú as a crutch in place of taking responsibilities for their own actions. This is because they don’t want to accept the fact that things don’t always go the way they want them to. So they choose to blame the fukú for making their problems happen. So when fukú strikes a mongoose appears it comes as a character of a guardian angel with a sanguine presence. A mongoose is a weasel like animal that appears in the near death experiences of the characters. When it comes it shows a sign of hope and a second chance to fix their mistakes.

In the novel it is believed that this curse came from Africa carried in the screams of the enslaved and it is known as the “Curse and the Doom of The New World” (Diaz 1). Junot Diaz describes fukú as “the great American Doom,” brought to the New World by a Genoan explorer who is referred to “the Admiral” (Christopher Columbus) and whoever says his name is drown with sudden calamity (1-2). Diaz also states that Santo Domingo has the curse badly because of Trujillo. People in Santo Domingo know Trujillo as the “fukú king” because if anyone was to plot against him he would send a fukú so powerful in return heading down to generations and beyond. “The Dominican Republic of Rafael Leonídas Trujillo Molina, the Dictatingest Dictator who ever Dictated…” Further more the history of the fukú goes way back to the time of John F. Kennedy, he was even apart of it. Referring to the novel Kennedy was the one who sent the CIA to assassinate Trujillo and in return they say fukú killed J.F. Kennedy. “It seems that fukú is a form of cosmic retribution for the corruption of the New World by the white man. The curse can be large or small. The narrator explains that the Kennedy curse was, in truth, a fukú, caused by JFK’s green lighting an assassination of a Dominican dictator, who according to the narrator was “tight” with the curse.”

The secret cops that worked for Trujillo or anyone in connection with him I believe they gain fukú by giving their services to Trujillo. The fukú met them because they took the action in giving their time to work for Trujillo. “But if these years have taught me anything it is this you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.” They had to do the job of beating people or even murdering them. It didn’t matter to them who it was they just knew they had a job to do and they would have to do it. They even went along with the generation of the Cabral family. In catching the characters of the novel and beating them senseless and leaving them there to die.

Fukú has been cast on to the previous generations; according to the narrator Yunior “everybody in Santo Domingo has a fukú story knocking around in their family. I have a tía who believed she’d been denied happiness because she’d laughed at a rival’s funeral. Fukú” (5). I don’t think that’s fukú because laughing is one’s action. The curse even goes back to the time of Belicia’s father Abelard and forward. “Fukú follows a family through generations and across oceans into different countries. Abelard a respected doctor with a happy wife and kids had a very good life and a warm home. He was very close with Trujillo’s partner el Jefé always staying on his good side which was a good thing. Also he kept dodging the topic of his daughters.

Worried Abelard couldn’t eat or sleep thinking that someone would go back and tell Trujillo about his daughters. “Hiding your doe-eyed, large-breasted daughter from Trujillo … [was] like keeping the Ring from Sauron.” Until he noticed that everything was normal he stops worrying and went to party. Slipping up by being intoxicated the doctor blew his cover and mentioned his girls...
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