The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, 71/335 pages read.

This novel has several themes within it, such as, internal family problems, the pursuit of happiness in different forms, and the everlasting self-consciousness of people.

  1.   Internal family problems: The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is partly comprised of internal family problems, the book has several paragraphs detailing how Oscar and his family struggle due to his mother having cancer and how it affects their daily lives, this leads to the point where his sister runs away because of the false promises his mother makes. The daughter and the mother are constantly fighting due to their family only having Oscar, the mother and Lola (the daughter), this doesn’t help Oscar very well because of his condition of being overweight which leads to the theme of self-conscious.
  2. Self-conscious: The book also implies the theme of being self-conscious, throughout the several pages that I have read, there is evidence that Oscar is self-conscious about his body and about his personal lifestyle of being a nerd. Its Oscar’s self-consciousness that prevents him from going outside and interacting with others, its also the reason keeps him from overcoming his weight problem. He constantly tries to overcome his self-consciousness of his body due to his family giving advice to him about his condition but in the end he cannot, because he is afraid to try.  It ties in with the book because it’s Oscar’s self-conscious that makes the pursuit of happiness very difficult.
  3. The pursuit of happiness: It’s also implied that there is the pursuit of happiness in the book, Oscar or other characters are constantly trying to find their happiness in the forms of having girlfriends/boyfriends, the risk of abuse within relationships or in other manners. The way this ties in with the book is that Oscar once had two girlfriends at the same time but ended with his bad luck with girls after he dumped one of his girlfriends and the latter dumping him. It’s this reason that Oscar is constantly trying to get a girlfriend but cannot, due to either his overweight or his limit of interaction with the outside world. There are several other themes within this book such as superstition but don’t have that much effect on the book just yet, but I would recommend this book to anyone interested in finding these themes within the book.

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