Chapter five of Junot Diaz's Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao tells the story of Oscar's grandfather, Abelard. The title of the chapter, "Poor Abelard," provides the reader with foreshadowing about the fate of Oscar's grandfather. It spans the time from 1944 to 1946 in the Dominican Republic and introduces the family as a relatively wealthy and powerful clan during the dictator Trujillo's reign.
Abelard worked as a doctor and was well-respected as an intellectual in the community. However, he feared that the dictator would be interested in his attractive young daughters and purposefully tried to hide them. He failed and was arrested for "slander and gross calumny" against Trujillo, then sentenced to eighteen years in prison. While in prison, his third and final daughter, Oscar's mother, was born.