I need to analyze the relationship between Yunior with Lola and Oscar with Ybon in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

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I'll start by outlining the similarities between these two relationships and then the differences.

Both relationships exhibit the toxicity of Dominican masculinity. Yunior appears to have true and passionate feelings for Lola that span the length of the novel, yet he is continually unfaithful to her and regularly engages with...

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I'll start by outlining the similarities between these two relationships and then the differences.

Both relationships exhibit the toxicity of Dominican masculinity. Yunior appears to have true and passionate feelings for Lola that span the length of the novel, yet he is continually unfaithful to her and regularly engages with other women. Oscar fancies himself in love with Ybon, yet he repeatedly ignores her wishes and safety in the pursuit of "conquest." Oscar is obsessed with escaping his mediocrity, and Dominican masculinity shows that that can be done through sexual conquest and ownership of a female body. Oscar convinces himself that his salvation is through Ybon.

The differences come with the growth (or lack thereof) of the characters. Yunior takes a long time to understand his place in Lola and Oscar's life and tries over and over again to improve his relationship with Lola. Even though it ultimately doesn't work out, the reader gets the sense that Yunior is forever changed and matured by his relationship with Lola. Oscar, to the very end, focuses only on his desire to "have" a woman, to the extent that he even ignores the physical safety of Ybon. His relationship is obsessive (in sharp contrast to Lola and Yunior's) and all-consuming.

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The relationship between Yunior and Lola in this story is shown to be a relationship between two people that genuinely love each other. However, the problem is that Yunior, as a stereotypical Dominican male, is unable to remain faithful to her, and continues to have relationships and one night stands throughout their time together. This eventually comes to a climax after Oscar and his mother's death, when Yunior tried to do everything he could to make things work, but clearly was not able to restrain himself:

I wish I could say it worked out, that Oscar's death brought us together. I was just too much the mess, and after half a year of taking care of her mother Lola had what a lot of females call their Saturn Return. One day she called, asked me where I'd been the night before, and when I didn't have a god excuse, said, Goodbye, Yunior, please take good care of yourself...

There relationship is ruined by Yunior's repeated infidelity, and his inability to accept that. Note the way that Yunior does not explicitly refer to his infidelity in the quote above, only that he didn't have "a good excuse." This suggests that even now he is unwilling to acknowledge his own role in destroying their relationship.

As for Oscar and Ybon, this is a completely different relationship, as Oscar is completely entranced by Ybon and willing to do anything, even getting himself killed to pursue it. Ybon is a character who seems to find it hard to accept Oscar's love, and she does what she can to put him off, to be fair, but at the same time she is attracted to the kind of love and adoration that he offers. Even though she is a prostitute, Oscar is smitten, and he shows the kind of faithfulness to Ybon that Yunior is not able to offer Lola.

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