Two of the most prominent devices Diaz uses in “Fiesta, 1980” are diction and similes. Diaz also uses a specific symbol—the Volkswagen van—to represent Papi and Yunior’s relationship. Through the uses of these devices, he weaves several themes.
Diction refers to the word choices the author makes when telling a story. From the very start of the story, Diaz speaks in a colloquial voice, meaning in this case that the story is told using words and phrases that might be spoken in a household where English is not the first language. Although the story is told in English, familiar Spanish words are interspersed to give the reader a sense of the environment and mood of the story. Spanglish, swearing, and slang are also used to show what the characters are like. Here are a few examples:
Actually, my pops decided, but everybody—meaning Mami, tía Yrma, tío Miguel and their neighbors—thought it a dope idea . . .
He didn't say nothing to nobody, not even my moms . . .
. . . she was no...
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