How can I summarize Junot Diaz's "The Dreamer"?

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Junot Diaz's essay "The Dreamer" is an account and reflection upon his mother's experience growing up poor in the rural hills of the Dominican Republic. In the essay, Diaz describes how his mother becomes inspired to be a nurse as a young girl caring for the farm workers in...

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Junot Diaz's essay "The Dreamer" is an account and reflection upon his mother's experience growing up poor in the rural hills of the Dominican Republic. In the essay, Diaz describes how his mother becomes inspired to be a nurse as a young girl caring for the farm workers in her community. In order to achieve this dream, Diaz's mother would need to obtain a formal education and then pursue her dream career.

However, Diaz's grandmother insists that her daughter must stay home and work the fields like the rest of the family, rather than attend school. Schooling in the Dominican Republic became a requirement, however, for children under the age of 15, and Diaz's mother is determined to attend school and gain her education. Even though her mother faces imprisonment for not allowing her daughter to go to school, Diaz's grandmother attempts to force her daughter to leave home for seasonal farm work rather than attend school.

Defiantly, Diaz's mother drinks from a dirty puddle, becoming sick and ultimately getting left behind when her family leaves for the seasonal farm work. When her family leaves, she heads to the school and reports her mother at the school house, and she is finally able to attend.

Years later, Diaz reminisces on the courage and determination of his mother. When he endures challenges with his writing, he remembers the strength of his mother and finds the motivation to continue his work.

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Diaz's essay is about his mother's quest for an education while she was growing up in the Dominican Republic. She desperately wanted to be a nurse in the capital city. Her own mother did not want her to be educated and instead thought Diaz's mother should stay on the family farm and work like a mule. Trujillo, then the dictatorial leader of the country, passed a law stating that all children under age 15 had to attend school. Still, Diaz's mother's family planned to have her move up the mountain to work harvesting coffee. To enable herself to stay in the village, Diaz's mother drank dirty water from a puddle and reported her mother to the authorities. As a result, Diaz's mother attended school, and when her mother returned and tried to drag her up the hill, the police handcuffed her. Diaz's mother was able to attend school, even though her mother beat her mercilessly.

Diaz's mother never became a nurse because immigration interfered with her plans. She tried but could never master English. However, Diaz turned his energies to reading and writing, and he credits her influence with giving him the drive to become educated. When he is stalled in his writing, he thinks about his mother's courage in drinking dirty water as a young girl.

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Junot Diaz's essay The Dreamer is about Diaz's mother's desire to get an education as a young girl.
 
Diaz uses the first part of the essay to describe his mother. He mentions that she now lives in a nice house in New Jersey and enjoys feeding the squirrels in her backyard. In contrast to that, though, he also describes the way she grew up poor and even refers to her as "the kind of Dominican girl who was destined never to get off the mountain or out of the campo" (Diaz). 
 
He then recounts the way his grandmother expected his mother to work on the family's farm indefinitely unless, of course, she got married. When caring for the field hands, though, his mother realized that she wanted to become a nurse. However, she had no education and her mother did not support the idea of her obtaining one. 
 
That said, a few months later, Trujillo, the country's dictator at the time, mandated that all children under 15 be educated. If parents didn't obey the law, they could face imprisonment, but Diaz's grandmother didn't seem to care. So, in a last ditch effort, Diaz's mother drank water from a puddle in order to make herself sick.
 
Her family was planning on moving further up into the hills for seasonal work and eventually they decided they weren't going to wait for her to get better, so they left without her. As soon as her family left, Diaz's mother ran to the schoolhouse and reported her own mother. At one point, the grandmother tried to take the girl out of school and back into the hills but the police put her in handcuffs and Diaz's mother remained free to get her education. 
 
Diaz ends the essay informing the readers that his mother was never actually able to become a nurse because they immigrated to the United States and she was never able to learn English, despite trying very hard.
 
However, he then states that he currently works as a professional writer and attributes all of his success to her. He says he believes that, "who I am as an artist, everything that I've ever written, was possible because a seven-year-old girl up in the hills of Azua knelt before a puddle, found courage in herself and drank" (Diaz).
 
He goes on to conclude the essay, saying that he thinks of his mother's courage whenever he needs inspiration or faces hardship in his art. 

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