By Christopher González
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Additional resources for Reading Junot Diaz
But unlike many second-person narrators who address a narratee whose identity a reader can temporarily adopt, it’s quite clear that Yunior’s narratee is himself. It begs the question: why would a narrator tell himself a story? One must consider that the story, delivered in the second-person address, is hypothetical. According to Marisel Moreno: “With each successive step or situation, the reader learns more about Yunior, the narrator, since his step-by-step advice appears to mirror his own experiences.
A hundred-buck haul’s not unusual for me and back in the day, when the girlfriend used to pick me up, I’d buy her anything she wanted, dresses, silver rings, lingerie. Sometimes I blew it all on her” (125). Because he spends it all on the girlfriend, there is the sense that the narrator cannot afford to keep her. ” The narrator steals so he can 38 readin g jun ot dÍ az buy the girlfriend material things, yet Pruitt, the customer who has more money than he knows what to do with, seemingly cares little for his live-in Dominican girlfriend.
Clears your head of any rules” (114). The narrator in “How to Date” understands full well that love demands one follow very specific rules. There are rules of economics, just as the narrator of “Edison, New Jersey” discovers. There are rules regarding fidelity. And there are rules according to racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic norms that comprise all possible permutations of pairings for Yunior. Yunior is a young man who must perform his identity. The girl he is with and the expectations she carries with her dictate who he is and how he sees himself.
Reading Junot Diaz by Christopher González