On the contrary, the narrator portrays his ex, Loretta, as an egotistical woman who disregards the feelings of others to get what she wants, since she left the narrator for a richer man. At the beginning of the story “Boyfriend” the narrator wakes up in the hallway hearing his downstairs neighbors fighting. The story begins with Yunior being punished for eating against his father Papi’s strict order to not eat as they were going to head to a family party. While living in the capitol. The little brother said ” Ysrael will be OK”, but Rafa firmly denied it and was so sure about the doctor would never fix his face. Thus, he turns to violence and perpetuates a never-ending cycle of longing and misery. This story is the one of the first stories where the narrator, Junior, is a man, functioning on his own and supporting his mother. It was clear to me right away that the speaker of “Boyfriend” is still in love with his ex-girlfriend Loretta. ( Log Out /  Díaz has also stated that with Yunior, the idea was to be able to get out six or seven books about Yunior that would form a novel. While a border was placed between father and son, this border encouraged the female figures such as the mother to bond closer with Yunior. The title of the story shows how life’s circumstances keep pushing him down. "Drown" is set when Yunior is fresh out of high school, when he is living alone with his mother. This statement resonated, and created a personal connection with the characters in the book- it also shows the darker side, the power of a negative influence to charge the course of one’s life. Yunior already states that he needs Rafa, but Rafa never admits to that. None of the characters describe this type of physical punishment as abuse or blatantly wrong, instead they mention just taking it in, hurting in silence because fighting back is disrespectful. Another example of Yunior being the male figure since his father left is that he takes care of his mom financially. The theme of this story is “in order to move on, you must be powerful and let the past go.” The narrator and Girlfriend discover this theme during their coffee meet. The title, “Drown”, could refer to the overwhelming-ness of this transition. In the short story “Ysrael” Junot Diaz writes about two boys with a quest to see a young boy who had his face destroyed by a pig when he was a small child. In the novel Drown by Junot Diaz, the author portrays in two of the stories “Fiesta” and “Drown” how the protagonist, Yunior, becomes influenced by the messages he receives on intersectionality along with masculinity and machismo Diaz reveals how men are influenced to follow masculine norms and are literally “drowned” with masculinity. The physical and emotional abuse between in each member of the family is never defined as abuse, but rather as a form of discipline to define one’s hierarchical position within the family. Hello Select your address Kindle Store Hello, Sign in. The “aurora” story really connected with a theme I have emphasized throughout this quarter, the boundaries between people. From the stand point of the son he struggles with finding acceptance from his father because he is always given the idea that in his current state he is not good enough and will never be. Repeatedly being hurt by our previous decisions, yet walking down the same path as soon as the scabs have healed. This allows for the stories message to become universal. Those borders, both physical and mental, are established through the characteristics of the story such as names of the characters and the setting. All he can do is tolerate what life brings and deal with the changes as they come. The story in the collection that stood out to me the most was Drown. In fact, the notion of gender is common in Junot Diaz’s writing (Jarrett & Delgadillo, 2010). In the end it seems like the speaker was disappointed, but it’s not like he was in love with girlfriend. Loretta is dating a richer, more powerful man, making the narrator inferior while Girlfriend is submissive and powerless because of her love for Boyfriend. The fact that this is the last line of the story shows their naive hopefulness for a life that’s so different from the one they’re living, but their refusal to accept and deal with the problems they have. The mother plays the submissive wife role well by not standing up for her children or herself. You can tell this is the case when at the end of the story he tells Girlfriend that her new short hair looks fierce, she smiles, and he says, “That’s exactly what I wanted.” His goal was to help this woman, even though he didn’t know her, he took time out of his day to make her smile and to make her feel better. To me this illustrated the need for personal, face-to-face, eye-contact interaction in order to truly know and understand someone. This building up of unrealistic expectations just leads to more anguish when those expectations are not met. However, he prevents himself from wholeheartedly pursuing a life with her and wears a mask of Dominican bravado or “machismo”. I know exactly how Yunior feels when he says “good”- a response partly motivated by fear, lack of emotional connection, and not wanting to open up to his draconian father. This is illustrated when he yells at Yunior for eating because they were on their way to a party and how Yunior then proceeds to vomit in the car on the way to said party and is then prohibited by his father to go near the food at the party. Ok, well, here’s my response to another story that caught my interest: “Boyfriend”. Yunior observes the entire situation between Boyfriend and Girlfriend, and finds connections to his own break up with Loretta. They are set in Santo Domingo and the typical US, African Caribbean diaspora of New York, New Jersey and Miami. Although the father was abusive and overall a huge jerk, he allowed for the protagonist to reveal a more emotional side for himself. Diaz illustrates through this that people’s situations throughout life are more similar than most people think. He is often frustrated by how hard he works with little return and little wealth to show for it. Like his mother, his father would verbally attack Yunior on a daily basis. This is significant as often times, our society picks on an individual and analyzes and speculates every inch of their individuality. The narrator describes Girlfriend as beautiful and classy– an “untouchable”, too good for him. The two are practically foils. , http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/12/junot-diaz-interview, http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/12/junot-diaz-interview/page/3, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Yunior_de_Las_Casas&oldid=975157668, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Virta de Las Csas (mother) Rafa de Las Casas (brother), This page was last edited on 27 August 2020, at 01:48. Either way, Ysrael’s experience permanently leaves a mark on him and sets the wall between him and others. “Fiesta, 1980” stood out to me the most because we notice the way Yunior grew up. He could purposefully let her have everything in the pocket because he felt bad for her. No matter how different they are, in looks, class, and general disposition, the break ups end exactly the same for both Girlfriend and Yunior, with them in pain and their partners out with different individuals. First, the main character, Yunior, has a unique view of the situation, which makes his attention to detail particularly interesting. Fragmented Masculinity: A Critical Analysis of Junot Diaz’s Drown; Public and Private Spheres in Drown ; Trying to Swim, or at Least Float; Masculinity Complexes in Junot Diaz’s "Drown" He explains that both the boyfriend and the girlfriend are too beautiful and that they both exist specifically to remind him of how awful his own life is. Oh dang, I did the wrong story! This book should be studied by any reader, whose life like many others’, grew up without the attention and affection of a father. This distinction illustrates how perspective can completely change situations. Drown essays are academic essays for citation. In ‘Fiesta, 1980’ the father establishes his alpha male position through emotional punishment, ascertaining his respect through fear. Throughout the story, he begins to think about different events that happened in the past. The story is about Junior’s responsibilities to his mother, who Junior originally idolized and described as beautiful, smart and funny. Junot Diaz always delves deeper than that. She said she wanted to feel strong and that is how she coped with boyfriend leaving her. However, they are able to surpass that border while they are in the campo as they are each other’s only friends. Masculinity Complexes in Junot Diaz’s “Drown” May 16, 2019 by Essay Writer Boldly forthright and bitterly candid, Junot Diaz’s “Drown” forges a sense of community culture that propels the development of several of the work’s major themes, foremost among them the retention of historically accepted implications of masculinity. He spends time with other girls, and even comments on their appeal. Similar to Gloria Anzaldua’s use of the Spanish language in “To Live in the Borderlands Means You…” Diaz weaves in words such as “chinga” and “jurones” (page 4). Rafa is handsome, well liked, and has support behind him. The story “Fiesta, 1980” presents a multitude of dynamic relationships that exemplify several emotional and familial borders all within the descriptive depiction of a family party. It is especially interesting to see his thoughts regarding his father, which contrasts from their strained relationship depicted in the second story, since he seems to be hopeful that his relationship with his father will be good. This impression continues on as he silenced Yunior’s mom as she tries to speak with him, emphasizing a border of understanding and communication between the parents. The stories are narrated by and the action is seen from the perspective of Yunior, the second son of the family whose life and times are brilliantly outlined in the stories. Junior feels resentment and shame about his encounters with Beto, demonstrating his increased sexual awareness and sensitivity to societal norms. Usually some element of growing up is seeing your parents as people, complex and imperfect, rather than idealized, flawless figures. Society’s tendency to isolate people that look different is distinctly depicted in this chapter. Therefore, vomiting is the only way Yunior can release his emotions. My dad’s childhood memories have always reminded me how lucky I am to have grown up in Marin County and have taught me to be grateful. I can see him putting his ear to the floor to hear their arguments and to hear girlfriend crying. Through the voice of Yunior, the narrator throughout the majority of the stories, Diaz places the blame for Yunior’s negativity and rebellious nature on the disappointment caused by his father and the childhood illusion of America. We learn that Yunior has been vomiting lately in the car whenever he eats before going in his father’s new Volkswagen. My dad was born in Santo Domingo and immigrated to the Bronx, too, with my grandparents and his 3 brothers at a very young age. Questioning Humanity in Today’s Cinema – Are we human? The most prominent border is the emotional border between the narrator and his papi. They will mock him because he has this unaccepted face, and continue to do so because he used to have it. Drown by Junot Diaz by Criticisms Viva la Revolución Portrayal of women "Miss Lora was too skinny. His reaction seemed cold and indifferent toward Aurora’s action, and this made me wonder if he had done it out of love, pity, or both. Drown written by Junot Diaz tells a story narrated by a Hispanic teenage boy from New Jersey named Yunior. Despite the fact that the narrator, Yunior, was the protagonist, a significant character was his father. Had no hips whatsoever. Because that quote did not just refer to the sex they had, it also pointed to the core of their relationship. Front and center for all the exploration of this theme as well as race, masculinity, and sex is Yunior, the alter-ego of Junot Diaz. The two aforementioned arguments have well supported the thesis. Summary “Drown” begins with Yunior’s mother announcing that Beto, an old friend of Yunior’s, is home. Maybe it’s because he wants to protect his mom from the pain or maybe he’s afraid of his father’s wrath. However, there may be something in Rafa that is naturally combative, which may explain why he decides to pick on Ysrael. A powerful scene later occurs at the climax of the family party when the children were grabbing food. Therefore, individuals are forced to hide behind masks. Yunior de Las Casas is a fictional character and the subject of two short story collections by author Junot Diaz entitled Drown in 1996 and This is How You Lose Her in 2012. Or are we dancer? Which makes the title more interesting to me. Sometimes we cannot explain the decisions we make, we ignore the voice in our head to follow the feeling in our heart. The narrator gets very excited and shouts “No shit! One of the events in which this was evident was when Yunior’s father did not allow him to eat during dinner. Yunior remembers the homosexual experiences he and Beto shared a few years ago and is reluctant to see him. While Aurora was in juvie, she said that she had “made up this whole new life in there … The two of us had kids, a big blue house, hobbies, the whole fucking thing” (65). The symbolism of this occurrence is to show the speaker’s literal, evident disgust for his father’s fascination with this car, a woman outside of his marriage, and with abusing him. It seems like a border that would divide them cleanly, but it turns out to be thin and permeable. Although the stories work together in unison, one that stands out as its own separate entity is “Drown”. While Ysrael is a more formidable opponent than Yunior could pose to be, Ysrael is alone, completely alone. I think he is listening so closely to give himself closure or to feel better about the way his relationship ended. Change ). Rather than accept the breakup and move on, Girlfriend allows Boyfriend treat her like an object, humiliating herself for a man who does not love her back. Drown Conflict Analysis What would you do if your dad was cheating on your mom and you knew? The last anecdote, a lot is learned about the two characters’ relationship despite the lack of conversation. From the beloved and award-winning author Junot Díaz, a spellbinding saga of a family’s journey through the New World. The story “Aurora” shows the conflict between ideals and reality. Yunior mentions that Rata moves “out of the way every time Papi was going to smack him” due to potential “collateral damage.” The image of brotherhood is generally known as brothers always helping each other in times of need, but for Yunior’s case, Rafa is portrayed as a brother who’s only interest is helping himself. Yunior’s father doesn’t show so much compassion towards the mother as he walked in he “held up his hand when she tried to talk to him.” To Yunior and his siblings, their mother is so beautiful and they do not particularly understand why their father would cheat on her and ignore her. Physically they were close enough for the speaker to follow their every movement and argument throughout the apartment below. In this story, there is this boy named Ysrael who have to wear a mask to cover his face partially rated by a pig. Then, when his family joins him, they too try to find some balance between the American Dream and their reality. In “Boyfriend” I thought that the protagonist defined a border rather than crossed one. In a way, it seemed symbolic of a person’s interaction with other drug-like substances. One significant device in this story is how the Boyfriend and Girlfriend are not given names, but are simply the concepts themselves. One particular story from Junot Diaz’s Drown that caught my attention just from the title alone was “Aguantando.” Aguantando is Spanish for tolerating or putting up with. Junot Diaz’s “Aurora” again discusses the idea of borders within characters. The two are away from home and all they have is each other, which is why the two don’t physically fight. The narrator himself could be gay (or bisexual or even just curious) as he doesn’t reject the passes made by Beto. The solitude and lack of societal structure seems to have diminished the borders that Rafa created between him and his brother. He knew intimate details of girlfriend’s and boyfriend’s lives, yet personally, didn’t know them at all. Nonetheless, this is a bad cycle because doing so only make the majority stronger and the minority weaker. Some interesting notes are that even though Yunior’s father and brother was not portrayed as supportive or loving, the female figures including his mother and aunt were as Yunior’s mother was repeatedly shown to be by his side making a compassionate gesture while the aunt snuck food for him against his father’s orders. The main character often compares his relationship to that of the couple downstairs by comparing the way the talk to each other. Post a brief critical response to 1 story in the collection. In the captioned analysis, there argues Junot Diaz’s Drown portrays the idea of fragmented masculinity. One of the interesting aspects of this story is how he goes back to discussing his childhood in the Dominican Republic after two stories that seemed to fast forward to his life in the U.S. Regardless, selection of detail, character voice, and dark tone made this piece into one that I found personally interesting. Through this prominent, recurring motif, Díaz intricately layers his depiction of nascent masculinity. The protagonist and narrator of Drown, Yunior is several years out of high school and still living with his mother in the small apartment in Edison, New Jersey in which he grew up. A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz's exhilarating talents.  Díaz writes about the immigrant experience from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to the industrial background of New Jersey. Through Yunior and the Girlfriend’s seemingly different stories proving to be uncannily alike, Diaz asserts that all people go through simple variations of situations. In the novel Drown, we witness Yunior go through various problems that range for gay relationships to girlfriend problems. The very first story in the collection, “Ysrael,” is scattered with both delicacy and violence as the narrator recounts the summer in which he and his brother Rafa hunted down the disfigured Ysrael character. Even though he knows he wants to leave and escape that place, he rejects the opportunity to join the army. From the beloved and award-winning author Junot Díaz, a spellbinding saga of a family’s journey through the New World. Published in 1996, it is a collection of 10 short stories that first introduced his readers to Yunior de Las Casas. Obviously, although the father is not the protagonist, he is significant to the piece when it comes to Yunior and his entire family’s emotions. “Tell her that you love her hair, that you love her skin, her lips, because, in truth, you love them more … Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Instead of having a good time with friends and family, Yunior just watches people have a good time. Yunior first introduced his interactions with Aurora by introducing his lack of interaction with her. For example, Yunior notes his dad’s showers, his brother’s actions regarding the girls at the party, and dialogue that he has with his father, especially in the van by himself. The narrator says in the last paragraph of the story: “A week from then she would be asking me again, begging actually, telling me all the good things we’d do and after a while I hit her and made the blood come out of her ear like a worm but right then, in that apartment, we seemed like we were normal folks. Perhaps it’s because he’s the only father Yunior will ever have or because he wants to protect the delicate integrity of their family. Rafa feels better about himself because he has someone beside him, he can’t afford to ruin that. Junot Diaz’s first book was Drown. The lack of affection and parenting from his father leads Yunior to go down a wayward road, showing a potential consequence of creating emotional barriers between family members. In this way, the story is about growing up. As whole as society is defined to be, it permits susceptibility of forming barriers between individuals due to various differences. Yunior and his mother live together in a small apartment in Edison, New Jersey. When Rafa and his brother finally take off Ysrael’s mask, they first feel disgusted and then perhaps sorry or guilty for him. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The story also explores Junior’s sexuality, and his complicated relationship with his friend Beto. the two brothers always fight. In the first story, Ysrael, Yunior and his brother, Rafa, are shipped off to live with relatives for the summer. After following them for some time it seems as if the speaker knows girlfriend as well as anyone could, but despite this he finds he is unable to relate with her at all. Girlfriend goes against the social norms to demonstrate that she will no be a submissive woman that conforms to men’s wishes. A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz's exhilarating talents. The second border is emotional, and is displayed through the name Boyfriend and Girlfriend. However, when she comes back, she realizes that she can never have that with the way they’re living and the way their relationship is. Junot Diaz’s “Fiesta, 1980,” portrayed the existing borders within relationships in families and how these borders placed a strain and distance amongst it characters. The best example of this strain is shown between Yunior and his father. Junior is becoming a man in this story, an overwhelming and occasionally terrifying prospect. In the short story “Boyfriend,” the narrator identifies two types of borders between Boyfriend, Girlfriend, and himself. Our father’s there too!” revealing how there is a collective identity between those who have family members who have left home in the hopes of establishing themselves in the United States. I think the closing image of this story (Yunior about to vomit and his parents awkwardly sitting in the front) sums up the disgust that the speaker has for his father’s infidelity/superficiality/abusiveness along with any society that perpetuates all these things. It incites people’s ugliness inside and evokes their curiosity (like Rafa and his brother), which indeed hurts Ysrael more. Overall, this chapter focuses mainly on the societal borders that individuals are forced upon. This was definitely not the love Aurora wanted. Rafa would lose his only ally if he fights. The mob culture so evident in the text is reminiscent of “Sin Nombre.” Just as Smiley undergoes a rapid transformation from sweet, innocent boy to heartless killer, the protagonist in “Ysrael” easily makes the transition from intrigued, naive young brother to violent, blind follower. Junot Diaz’s “Fiesta, 1980,” was a powerful story that portrayed the harsh borders of relationships in families how it has placed a sentimental distance amongst it characters. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The main plot is about Yunior’s friendship with Beto. Israel with the deformed face hides under his mask as a result. Boldly forthright and bitterly candid, Junot Diaz’s “Drown” forges a sense of community culture that propels the development of several of the work’s major themes, foremost among them the retention of historically accepted implications of masculinity. The way that Junot Diaz wove together metaphorical symbolism in Aurora struck me as a very interesting aspect of the short story. May not be bridged little drown junot diaz yunior to show for it is colloquially called, back. These papers were written primarily by students and provide for him main character, ’. And love and limited by his injury with relatives for the speaker ’ s, is the of. Ideal that many people have, the two characters realize that they must the. Domingo, Dominican Republic nascent masculinity received his MFA from Cornell University our picks... Of power what life brings and deal with the speaker was disappointed, but it out! 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