Oscar Wao Presentation

Hello, everyone!

My presentation was on the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I thought this novel was pretty flexible so I decided to cover as much material so that it could be used to it’s full potential. If you haven’t read the novel, I highly recommend it even for a fun read.

I’m attaching the Word Document to this post so that you can save it in a folder you might have on your computer that covers exam materials: Presentation

The first theory I covered was DuBois’ Double-Consciousness. Oscar is both Dominican and American, constantly being pulled by each side as he gets criticized for not being the Dominican-machismo male the culture expects him to be. This ultimately shapes his identity and could play a factor in the tragic ending.

The second theory is Brennan’s “Transmission of Affect.” Yunior, the narrator of the novel, is one of the many who criticize Oscar for not being Dominican enough. He is always commenting (or complaining) about Oscar and his love for sci-fi and comics. Yet, Yunior himself is affected by Oscar’s love of these subcultures. Yunior is constantly referencing sci-fi and comic book characters to give the reader a better understanding of what he’s talking about. Also, Yunior gets one of the highest grades in a creative writing course he takes with Oscar in college and ends up becoming a creative writing professor towards the end of the novel. He embodies the criticism he gave Oscar, proving that Oscar’s love transmits onto Yunior.

I also covered genre. Daniel Bautista’s “Comic Book Realism: Form and Genre in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” discusses Bautista’s claim of the novel emerging a new genre: comic book realism. Latin American literature usually brings up magical realism which the novel gets criticized for properly continuing this tradition or not. Bautista believes a new genre emerges overall. But, I believe the novel is a tragicomic because it covers all aspects of what a tragicomic is defined as.

Another genre element is Unnatural narration in Katherine Weese’s “‘Tu no Eres Nada de Dominicano’: Unnatural Narration and De-Naturalizing Gender Constructs in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”  Yunior is the narrator of the novel and tells us all about the De Leon family, even going as far back to Oscar’s grandfather’s history. Although Yunior says he talks to Lola, his past girlfriend, about Oscar and their family, it’s still pretty strange how Yunior is able to have this knowledge. Also, the article brings up Jon Alber’s UnNatural Narrative article which I know some people might use for the exam.

I lightly touch upon historical context, but the novel is covered in so much history that it was hard for me to cover as much as I could within the time we have left from now and the exam. The article is by Monica Hanna and is called “Reassembling the Fragments”: Battling Historiographies, Caribbean Discourse, and Nerd Genres in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I give excerpts from the introduction that cover what the article is about in my document if anyone wants to head down that path.

Good luck!



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