In "How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)," Junot Diaz , the setting—the Terrace—gives the reader a sense of familiarity or unfamiliarity, depending on their background, and impacts the story by giving the narrator a different experience with girls depending on their interpretation of the...
In "How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)," Junot Diaz, the setting—the Terrace—gives the reader a sense of familiarity or unfamiliarity, depending on their background, and impacts the story by giving the narrator a different experience with girls depending on their interpretation of the setting in which he lives.
At the beginning of the story, the narrator is thinking about his upcoming plans with a girl. Diaz writes:
Her parents won’t want her seeing a boy from the Terrace—people get stabbed in the Terrace—but she’s strong-headed and this time will get her way.
This shows a sense of disconnection between him and the people in his life. He's used to the possibility of violence—the stabbing—but the people he wants to be around aren't used to it. It makes them look down on him and shows the difficulty he has in dating people from another place.
If he's dating someone from another place, however, it's a different experience. He says:
If the girl’s local, don’t sweat. She’ll flow over when she’s good and ready. Sometimes she’ll run into her friends and a whole crowd will show up, and even though that means you ain’t getting shit it will be fun anyway and you’ll wish these people would come over more often. Sometimes the girl won’t flow over at all and the next day in school she’ll say, Sorry, and smile, and you’ll believe her and be stupid enough to ask her out again.
This girl fits in better and he's more comfortable with her. She comes with others—people who are part of his life and experience—but that doesn't mean the narrator is guaranteed to have a good time with her or with any girl. His experience is affected by the setting in which he lives.
The setting creates a sense of unreality for the reader who doesn't have to live in a violent area where they're judged for the people around them. On the other hand, if the reader has grown up in a similar environment, they might relate to the narrator's struggle. They might understand the prejudices that come with living in that type of environment.