The Oedipal Conflict in Junot Díaz, “Fiesta, 1980”
As children grow up in a dysfunctional family, they experience trauma and pain from their parent’s actions, words, and attitudes. With this trauma experienced, they grew up changed; different from other children. The parent’s behavior affects them and whether they like it or not, sometimes it can influence them, and they can react against it or can repeat it. In Junot Díaz’s “Fiesta, 1980”, is presented this theme of the dysfunctional family. The author presents a story of an adolescent Latin boy called Junior, who narrates the chronicles of his dysfunctional family, a family of immigrants from the Dominican Republic driving to a party in the Bronx, New York City. “Papi had been with that Puerto Rican woman he was seeing…’’(23) Junior feels disgust towards his father because he has an affair with a Puerto Rican woman, while he is married with Junior’s mother, he feels sick about the cheating of his father. The disgust and sickness is expressed through his vomiting; “car sickness”. Every time he is in his father lime-green Volkswagen van he vomited. “I’d never had trouble with cars before- that van was like my curse.”(27) Vomiting in the car is an insult for his father. This relationship with his father is related to the Oedipal Conflict, a theory proposed by Sigmund Freud in which describes the son-father competition for the mother’s love. In the story, Junior’s illness plays an important role for the reason that with the car sickness he expresses his repulsion and disgust towards his father’s infidelity and he also recognizes the mother’s suffering. Junior’s illness can be classified as a psychosomatic illness. It is an illness that has physical symptoms, but has the mind and the emotions as its origin. This is exactly what happens with Junior, his mind and body are connected. The disgust that he feels towards his father caused by his infidelity and the way he treated him and his family makes Junior...
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