The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is both a typical and a typical novel. It has a recognizing coming-of-age story of Oscar’s journey to adulthood but it is also so much more. It has Dominican Republic history and how the “fuku” curse has affected Oscar in more ways than you could imagine. It is a novel within a novel and is much more than ever thought it would be. Junot Diaz creates something that’s both typical and a typical. He creates a twenty first century novel with a twist. Postmodernism plays a very important role in this novel and it was one of the tools that Diaz used to create this novel. Postmodernism refers to a time period and can be described as skeptical interpretations. Postmodernism in literature and film include examples of a mix of “highs” and “lows,” mix of styles and genres, multiple references to popular culture and irony. All these are things Diaz used in Oscar Wao. He embraces his own type of postmodernism in this novel. The novel starts in 1974 but later jumps back to Oscar’s mom, Beli’s life in 1950s. It is back and forward in time. A major part in the book that shows Diaz’s unique style of writing was his use of footnotes. Not many novels have footnotes. They are not meant to be skipped over because Diaz puts important and relevant information in the footnotes. It adds to the novel and makes it more interesting. Diaz obviously wrote the book but while reading the narrator talks about writing the book and also makes a few direct addresses to the reader. On page 129 when the narrator is talking about Beli and the Gangster’s relationship he says, “It’s not like she had a number for the Gangster, or even an address (bad sign number one, girls)…” The main question that you find yourself repeatedly asking is “why would Diaz do that?” One reason he would do all this is because he wants you to become more involved with his history and he wants you to relate to each of the character’s story and...
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