The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

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What is significant about time switching back and fourth in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?

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Diaz shifts not only back and forth in time, but also between different narrators, for a couple of different reasons.

First, the book itself focuses on Oscar, but it is also the story of his family. His mother, Beli, and his sister, Lola, are featured prominently throughout the novel. By going back and forth in time, Diaz introduces readers to these characters at different points in their lives and from different perspectives. Because his family plays such an important role in Oscar's life, it makes sense that Diaz wants us to know their backgrounds and motivations, and skipping around in time helps him to do this very effectively.

Second, just as the book is about Oscar's family, it is also about Dominican culture. There are multiple pressures on Oscar, and these pressures often arise as a result of his family's Dominican background. Although Oscar grew up in New Jersey, his family's Dominican culture is still very much an influence in his life, and we see this especially from his...

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