Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I would like to talk about the short story "Fiesta 1980" by Junot Diaz. I thought it was "dope" how the narrator had the dialect of a boy from the 80's. He refers to the fiesta as a "dope idea." Thankfully the word "dope" has fallen out of popularity in recent years. Parts of this story are funny, but mostly there is a sense of real tension between all the members of the family. The only relatively drama-free interaction is between the mother and her sons. But later in the story even this relationship is a source of conflict as Yunior and Rafa must conceal thier father's indiscretions. I would argue that the brothers have a strong bond, even though they pick on eachother, they also rely on eachother for comfort and support from time to time. For instance, when Yunior frequently looks to measure his brother's expression, looking for aknowledgement. Of course I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the uncontrolled vomitting that Yunior and his family must endure. On a literal level this vomitting could be mere car-sickness. But it's repetition in the story leads me to believe that there is more to this puking. Allow me to drop a mouse into this story and see what I can learn. I'm going to assume that the car-sickness could be better described as "country-sickness." Yunior and his family who are Dominican immigrants are out of their element in the United States. In the background information for Diaz we learn that he personally felt a sense of bewilderment when he first arrived in this country. Perhaps Yunior's sickness is a physical representation of the feelings that some immigrants may have, that this country is like a fast car that smells funny and makes you lose your lunch.