Junot Diaz “drown”

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Junot Diaz “Drown”


The paper discusses Junot Diaz's "Drown," a collection of stories that tell of the contemporary misery and urban despair that can grow from poverty and distance from one's own cultural setting. The paper looks at the intersections of race and immigration in American history and then looks at the protagonists in Diaz's "Drown." The paper argues that the issues faced by the characters - poverty and racism - were quite similar to the ones faced by the earliest immigrants to this country. The paper concludes that the United States has long benefited from this cycle of immigration, assimilation and change. The paper argues that immigration is therefore an intrinsic part of the American Dream and as such, it should be allowed to continue.


"Junot Diaz is renowned for his stories that reflect the intricacies of growing up. In the story Ysrael, Diaz details many facts of Dominican life that are often absent from the minds of the rest of the world. Diaz relies on his own memories of childhood and a vast repository of historical knowledge already in his head (Zuarino). In "Ysrael", the first story in Junot Diaz's collection Drown the all-important "image" is the horribly mutilated face of a boy, which is kept hidden behind a mask. As they grow up in the Dominican Republic, the narrator and his brother become obsessed with ripping the mutilated boy's mask off. Their quest to expose the horrifying face echoes the short story's structural drive towards the climactic "image"--and drives the story irresistibly forward. Subtle parallels between the narrator and the mutilated boy (both their fathers are in America) hint that the mutilated face is a mirror image of the protagonists themselves, a grotesque emblem of their life in the Dominican Republic (Duarte, 13-15).

Like many of Diaz's stories, Ysrael lets us peak into the lives of the fascinating characters that he creates. The story of immigrant struggles is the major theme in Drown by Junot Diaz. Every immigrant has a personal story, pains and joys, fears and victories, and Díaz portrays much of his own story of immigrant life in Drown, a collection of 10 short stories. This book captures the fury and alienation of the Dominican immigrant experience very well. Other immigrants' grief's also come up in Díaz's short stories (findarticles.com).

My argument for this paper delves with the question of is this book merely storytelling or is it autobiographical? Also, it seemed to me as if he uses some symbols and specific words (mostly verbs) to express himself in a manner which the reader can almost feel the story as if it were real. The book tells of the barrios of the Dominican Republic and the struggling urban communities of New Jersey (Díaz, 26-44). This book is very strong and these stories tell of a sense of discovery from a young man's perspective. It seems as though for the immigrants, even when things are at their best, a high probability of calamity looms just around the ...
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