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The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao Summary

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The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao is a book written by Junot Díaz. It shares the story of a man named Oscar Wao. He is a socially awkward Dominican American in a bid to assert his identity and find love. The story is narrated through the eyes of Yunior, his college roommate. It also incorporates flashbacks of his family’s tribulations during the Trujillo regime. The following synopsis gives a deeper overview of the whole narrative.

Here Is the Plot Overview of the Novel

The book begins through the introduction of Yunior, who narrates the string of misfortunes all along with Oscar’s life. Yunior describes his childhood as a Dominican American youngster in Paterson, New Jersey. He struggles to socialize and get a girlfriend. While with his sister during the summer holidays back in the Dominican Republic, he aspires to be an author. However, in Peterson, he is infatuated with Ana and once threatened to kill her abusive lover.

The story then switches to Lola’s difficult relationship with her mother. Upon discovering her mother has breast cancer, she escapes with her new lover. Later on, she tries to contact Oscar, but the mother catches her and send her to school in the Dominican Republic and abide with her great-aunt. Eventually, Lola adapts to Dominican life and comes to terms with her family’s history

From that point, the plot shifts further into the past during Beli’s (Lola & Oscar’s mother) adolescent years. She lived with her aunt in Santo Domingo. Growing older, she became boy crazy and fell in love with “the gangster” who worked for Trujillo. Upon becoming pregnant, “the gangster” orders her to abort, but she declines. She gets beaten and left for dead but is saved by a magical mongoose. Though she lost the pregnancy, she moved to America and met Lola and Oscar’s father on the flight.

This narrative shifts back to Oscar during his time in college, studying creative writing. Yunior became his roommate since he was eyeing Lola. Yunior attempts to transform Oscar into a womanizer and later on gets the nickname “Oscar Wao” in addition to teasing. Oscar attempts a relationship but fails and gets disappointed. He tries to kill himself but fails. However, he remains friends with Yunior

Again, the narrative shifts to Lola’s worldview during her preparation to return to the states. She does not desire to leave home, but her boyfriend’s death convinces her to do what is best for the family. She donates all her savings to her boyfriend’s family and bids her mother farewell at the airport.

The reader is introduced to Abelard Cabral, reaching back further in time. This is Lola’s grandfather and Beli’s father. He hates Trujillo but supports him to stay safe. Nevertheless, he is jailed for refusing Trujillo’s request to have Jaqueline, his eldest daughter. Abelard’s wife gives birth to three girls, then commits suicide. Two of the girls die young, and Beli gets sold as a maid to pay family debts. La Inca, however, offers her a new beginning in Bani.

Back to the ’90s once more, Oscar is now an English teacher living with his mother. He is depressed due to his low self-esteem and lack of social life. Three years later, he moves to Santo Domingo and meets the prostitute Ybon & instantly falls in love. However, the Capitan, Ybon’s main client, eventually beats Oscar just like his mother years back after failing to heed a warning. Oscar goes back to the states.

However, Oscar is still obsessed with Ybon. He borrows money from Yunior and Yunior is happy to give it to him as Lola’s peace offering. Nobody knows of Oscar’s plan to return to the Dominican Republic. Upon arrival in DR, Oscar spends a month at La Inca’s before meeting Ybon once more.

He sends letters to the states, but nobody can dissuade him from his infatuation with Ybon. Finally, he spends a weekend with Ybon whereby he loses his virginity. Suddenly Capitan walks in on them and fatally shoots Oscar.

The story concludes as Lola, Yunior, and Beli mourn Oscar. Yunior then receives more of Oscar’s letters sent before his demise and compiles them into a book. Lola gets married and moves to Miami. She gets a daughter named Isis but still keeps in touch with Yunior in honor of Oscar. Yunior wrote the book to gain a deeper understanding of Dominican American life. Yunior hands over the book to Isis once she is old enough so she can understand Dominican heritage and wonder about her uncle.

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