Date of Award
Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Ufa of Oscar Wao includes a plethora of references to everything from classic literature to modem pop culture. However, Diaz ends his novel with a reference to Joseph Conrad's colonial novella Heart of Darkness, therefore inviting readers to view Oscar Wao through a lens of colonial literature. This in turn results in a reconsideration of the current critical consensus surrounding the text's treatment of sexuality and masculinity in the modern Dominican diaspora, specifically that of Oscar, the novel's titular character.
Inconnecting Oscar Wao to Heart of Darkness, I analyze the text's and characters's violence against women as descendent of colonizing masculine figures and colonized feminine ones, central to Oscar Wao. These connections re-contextualize Oscar's final triumph as a colonizing act against the women with whom he interacts, and invites the reader to interrogate the ways in which authors deploy colonial literature and the colonial past in their works.
Decker, Alexi, ""The beauty! The beauty!": Colonial Literary Legacies and Conquering the Female Body in Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" (2019). Honors Theses. 200.
Diaz, Junot, 1968- . The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao; Conrad, Joseph, 1857-1924. Heart of darkness; Psychological fiction, English--History and criticism; Dominican Americans--Fiction.