How Are the Themes Coming of Age and Immigrant Experience Presented in “Fiesta, 1980” and “Rules of the Game”?

Topics: Overseas Chinese, Short story, Han Chinese, Chinese people, China, Chess / Pages: 9 (2087 words) / Published: Nov 18th, 2010
Chen Ruan
Prof. Wright
ENG 201 141
March 4, 2009

How Are the Themes Coming of Age and Immigrant Experience Presented in
“Fiesta, 1980” and “Rules of the Game”?

Chen Ruan
Prof. Wright
ENG 201 141
March 4, 2009

In ''Fiesta, 1980" by Junot Diaz, the story begins with a Dominican immigrant

family celebrating at a party and waiting for the father of the narrator. He seldom

undertakes his parental responsibilities and the responsibility of marriage. In contrast,

this father's adultery affects the mother of the narrator throughout the entire story.

This story is told from the perspective of an adolescent boy, Yunior. As the story

progresses, he and his brother have witnessed the sexual irresponsibility of their own

father in a Puerto Rican woman's house. Unfortunately, Yunior considers himself sick,

and attributes the cause of his physical illness to a family trip he remembers sitting in his

father’s VW.

The major theme of this short story is coming of age. This short story is about a
Dominican adolescent Yunior, who is struggling to survive in the environment of an impoverished, fatherless immigrant family. “I was the one who was always in trouble with my dad. It was like my God-given duty to piss him off, to do everything the way he hated. Our fights didn’t bother me too much. I still wanted him to love me, something that never seemed strange or contradictory until years later, when he was out of our lives” (Diaz 22). This is a coming of age story, but for Junior that has very little to do with and very much to do with witnessing the sexual irresponsibility of his own father.

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“What’s wrong with your dad? Leti asked. He’s a dick, I said. Rafa shook his head. Don’t say that shit in front of people. Easy for you to be nice when you’re eating, I said” (Diaz
33). The conversation between Yunior and his aunt is a feeling of his personality that surprises himself. He curses as a



Cited: 1. Covintree, Kate. "Critical Essay on 'Rules of the Game '." Short Stories for Students. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 27 Mar. 2009 <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRC&u=cuny_main>. 2. Díaz, Junot and Terry Gross. "Junot Díaz." Fresh Air. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 258. Detroit: Gale, 27 Mar. 2009 <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRC&u=cuny_main>. 3. Gates, David . “English Lessons.” New York Times 29 Sept. 1996. 17 March. 2009 <http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04E6D9173CF93AA1575AC 0A960958260&scp=1&sq=junot%20diaz%20fiesta%201980&st=cse>. 4. Jacklosky, Rob. "Review of Drown." Studies in Short Fiction. 35.1 (Winter 1998): 93- 94. Vol. 258. Detroit: Gale, 29 Apr. 2009 <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRC&u=cuny_main>. 5. Kelly, David. "Critical Essay on 'Rules of the Game '." Short Stories for Students. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 27 Mar. 2009 <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRC&u=cuny_main>. 6. Poquette, Ryan D."Critical Essay on 'Rules of the Game '." Short Stories for Students. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 27 Mar. 2009 <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/start.do?p=LitRC&u=cuny_main>. 7. DÌaz, Junot. "Fiesta,1980." Introduction to Literature. Ed. Natalie Danner. Massachusetts: Boston, 2008. 8. Tan, Amy. "Rules of the Game." Introduction to Literature. Ed. Natalie Danner. Massachusetts: Boston, 2008. Ruan 7

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