Analysis of Motifs, Symbols, and Themes
1. Geek Culture
The novel repeatedly uses characters from fantasy and sci-fi fiction. Sometimes, these characters are used to represent the characters in the novel. Junot Diaz is proud of being a comic book lover, and he often incorporates these “nerdy” materials to his works. The character of Oscar, and even Yunior, is an avid fan of geek culture. Throughout the novel, we see Oscar playing role-playing games, watching animes, and writing his own fantasy novel. He even dreams of being the Domminican J. R. R. Tolkien. 2. Fuku
As explained in the novel, Fuku is generally a curse or a doom of some kind. The de Leon family believes that it is under fuku, which explains the tragic events of Abelard, Beli, and Oscar. As Yunior said in his description of fuku, “no matter what you believe, fuku believes in you.”
However, fuku is only used as an excuse of a tragic event, not something as magical in itself. Notably, fuku sounds close to the American phrase “fuck you”. Readers can say that the usage of fuku is no magical or a curse; rather, it simply life itself giving the characters the middle finger.
3. Mother/daughter relationship
The two mother/daughter relationship, La Inca-Beli and Beli-Lola dominant in the novel show a painful one. Beli often ignores the pleas and advices of her foster mother La Inca. Lola and Beli continuously go through physical and verbal confrontations. These confrontations greatly impede the relationships of the said characters. 4. Masculinity/Femininity
As explained in the novel, sex is a key ingredient in the Dominican male. As narrated by Yunior, “it's against the laws of nature for a dominicano to die without fucking at least once.” Throughout the novel, readers are asked if Oscar will find love. Oscar repeatedly fails to find someone who can reciprocate his love. In turn, Yunior is the exact opposite. * Femininity
In the novel, women are things,...
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