Mentor:Dr. Javier Rodriguez
Research Topic:It's a Brief, Wondrous Life – Finding One's Identity Beyond the National Consciousness
Abstract:Junot Diaz’s The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao spans two countries, three generations, and a number of characters. The novel’s large scope lends itself to a transnational reading. This paper will examine the way Diaz uses the “outsider” narrative as a demonstration of resistance against the “singular-voice,” or nation-state identity, and carves out a transnational identity for its titular character and for his much of his supporting cast as well. Diaz’s depiction of retaliation is not necessarily David versus Goliath; rather, it is David and his slingshot versus Goliath. To take the analogy a step farther, it is David and God versus Goliath; wherein, God represents a distant but active abstraction in the resistance narrative. This struggle (between individual, abstract, and nation-state) has many iterations throughout the novel, and each deepens Diaz’s portrait of retaliation by illustrating the various ways these figures manifest themselves. This paper will look at two particular iterations of that triangle.
Alma Mater:B.A. English | University of North Texas 2014