1. What is your reaction to Junot Díaz’s “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie”? Did you enjoy reading this story? Why, or why not? 2. Describe the narrator, Yunior. Does he seem realistic to you? Does he fit with Cleeve’s concept of a character that “springs alive”? If so, what makes this character seem especially real to you? 3. What are some of the major and minor themes that this story presents? 4. Meyer describes irony as “a device that reveals a reality different from what appears to be true” (226). Can this story be described as ironic? What in the style and tone of this story reveal that “what we see” in Yunior is not really “what we get” (ibid.).

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What you think of this story is up to you. Did you find yourself relating to Yunior, or did you find him too cynical? Many readers enjoy the story's sense of realism; Yunior seems like a real guy who has ulterior motives and tries to sweet talk girls into giving him sexual favors. For example, he says, "It must have been hard" when trying to romance "halfies" whose parents met in the Movement. It's clear that a lot of what he says isn't sincere, but the reader feels sorry for him nonetheless because he has to hide a lot about himself. For example, he has to hide the "government cheese" (a term for food provided by the government to poor people) from his date, no matter what the color of her skin. These types of insecurities make Yunior seem real and make the story enjoyable to read.

The themes in this story include the need to lie to others, symbolized by Yunior's attempt to hide the government cheese. He feels that he has to change himself for the person he is dating and that he can't present his true self. Another theme is the self-hatred Yunior feels as a Latino. He says of his white date's skin and hair, "you love them more than you love your own." He is drawn to white girls over other girls, perhaps because he feels a sense of racial inferiority. In this sense, Yunior is an ironic character. He at first seems arrogant and ready to deceive girls to make them want to sleep with him. Underneath this bravado, however, the reader realizes that Yunior is in fact vulnerable and insecure. 

 

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