The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

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What is the conflict of the story, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?

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Lucienne Quitzon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Power, particularly as it relates to one's gender, is an essential element to Oscar Wao. Trujillo is, of course, the man with the most power: his dictatorship is bloody and cruel. Yet there are other men in this novel who also wield power: Yunior, who has the power to speak (he is the one telling us Oscar's story, as Oscar no longer can), and the other male characters who display violent and misogynistic tendencies: Jack Pujols, who uses Beli for sex and then abandons her; the Gangster, who not only is Trujillo's brother-in-law but also is a pathological liar to Beli; and the Capitan, an abuser of women and of his power (which he flexes to have people killed), are just a few that come to mind.

While some of the female characters are strong, they are still subject to a Dominican culture that worships "machismo" and reveres the submissive woman. Though Beli is fierce and resilient, she also falls victim to male predators, and Lola consistently finds herself in relationships with abusive...

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