The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

by Junot Díaz

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Who is the main character of chapter 1 of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and who is the main character of chapter 2? How do you know this is the main character in each respective chapter? What clues or details tell you this is the main character?

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In the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz switches perspectives from chapter to chapter to offer a broader outlook on the events of the story and to better develop each of the characters.

The first chapter of the novel focuses on Oscar de Leon. The narrator, who sometimes speaks in the first person, presents Oscar's childhood and adolescence, revealing Oscar's triumphs (which come and go early on) and struggles (which seem to remain ever after). This narrator knows what Oscar thinks and feels, all about his insecurities and interests, all about how he hides from the world, and all about how he falls in love yet still finds himself alienated from other people.

The novel's second chapter switches perspectives completely. Here Lola, Oscar's sister, takes over, and speaking in the first person, she tells her own story of her conflicts with her mother, her transformation into a "punk chick," her relationship with her brother, and her escape from her family. By allowing Lola to tell her own story, the author allows us readers to get into her mind as she tries to define who she is as a person.

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