Professor Irene Robles
April 5, 2015
Analysis of “The Dreamer” by Junot Diaz
In my initial reading of “The Dreamer” by Junot Diaz, I felt like his story was geared toward under-privileged, minority children who did not have the opportunity to receive an education. After my subsequent readings of the story, I have come to realize that not only was he trying to show the hardships of children in rural Dominican Republic, but that he also was expressing how life was for families during the reign of Rafael Trujillo. His mother, a seven-year-old field hand at the time, could only work on the coffee farms and was beaten by her own mother if she so much as mentioned attending school. Being beaten for wanting to attend school isn’t an obstacle most children face in today’s world, but it was a very apparent obstacle in the 1930’s in the Dominican Republic. I plan to analyze the admiration Diaz had for his mother’s courage to fulfill her dream of going to school and how it inspired him to become a writer, as well as the underlying issues over oppression that the Dominican Republic citizens faced during General Trujillo’s regime. The deep appreciation Diaz felt for his mother is something I can definitely relate to because I feel the same for my own father. Like Diaz’ mother, my father was born in a very under-developed country called Havana, Cuba. While he was only in the country for the first four years of his life, he faced similar roadblocks in wanting to fulfill his dream for continuing his education. In the past, it was common for children in impoverished countries to immediately enter the workforce within the family business or to help support their families by any means necessary. For young girls, it was especially important that they remain inferior to their male counterparts. Diaz called them, “the brutalized backbone of our world.”(Diaz) This meant being subjected to being married off at a young age or to solely provide children and do...
Cited: Diaz, Junot. "The Dreamer." Kennedy, X.J., et al. The Bedford Reader. 12th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2014. 709.
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