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What is the summary for Chapter 3 of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?

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Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted December 9, 2008 at 2:39 AM via web

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What is the summary for Chapter 3 of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?

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lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 10, 2008 at 11:23 AM (Answer #1)

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The third section, "Oscar is Brave" describes his continuing disappointment in not getting himself a girlfriend in his Senior year at Don Bosco Tech, and his simmering jealousy of his two video games playing friends Al and Miggs who had succeeded in doing so.

One day, Al bragged that he met his girl by chance for the first time at Menlo Park Mall and that she informed him that another friend of hers was desperate in neeed of a boy friend. So, Al introduced Miggs to his newly acquired girlfriend who did the rest. Oscar came to know of this only a week later when they were in the midst of a very exciting video game. Initially, Oscar accepted the news of his friends' success stoically but deep down he was peeved that his friends had excluded him from their sexual adventures. He was especially astounded by the fact that Miggs had succeeded in getting a girl for himself because "Miggs was an even bigger freak than himself." He was completely dejected and depressed when both his friends told him that their girlfriends "don't have any other friends."

Oscar began to introspect. He spent a lot of time in front of the mirror studying his reflection and came to the conclusion that he was a "Morlock" - an ugly and repulsive video games character. He then decided to follow partially his sister's advice and have a physical makeover - had a barber get rid of his afro, shaved his moustache, substituted contact lenses for his glasses and "starved himself dizzy" in an effort to lose weight.

Al and Miggs were puzzled by these "changes." Although he went out to the movies with them, secretly he was jealous of their success and began avoiding them completely. When Al and Miggs asked him him why he was avoiding them he lied to them that he was "finishing up his first novel."

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted December 10, 2008 at 3:18 PM (Answer #2)

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Beli (Oscar’s mother) is young and living well in the Dominican Republic with La Inca.  Beli attends the best school and hates it, becoming defensive, belligerent, and lonely.  Men notice Beli only after she has enormous breasts, empowering her.  Caught having rough sex with her first love, Beli refuses to be ashamed, vowing that she will not serve anyone but herself.  Beli quits school and becomes a waitress.  At the El Hollywood club, Bali meets “the Gangster” (Dionisio) who works for Trujillo and wines and dines Beli.  She falls in love under his adoration and promise of riches, but he begins vanishing for long periods.  Beli is now pregnant, but the Gangster is married to Trujillo’s sister who confronts Beli, demands an abortion, and eventually sends Trujillo’s minions to cane her.  Beli is beaten beyond recognition and the baby dies, but La Inca’s prayers save Beli.  Hallucinating, she sees a mongoose-like creature that tells her to live in order to see her other two children.  Doctors miraculously heal Beli, but she becomes increasingly lonely.  Ironically, Trujillo has been killed on the night Bali is kidnapped, “an A-plus zafa on the Cabral family fuku.”  La Inca sees a vision telling her to send Beli to New York.  Beli leaves in a depressed daze with a crying La Inca looking on and begging Beli to remember that she is a Cabral.  She is sixteen and sits next to a man on the plane that will become her husband.

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