Oscars struggle with masculinity

“Had none of the Higher Powers of your typical Dominican male, couldn’t have pulled a girl if his life depended on it. Couldn’t play sports for shit, or dominoes, was beyond uncoordinated, threw a ball like a girl. Had no knack for music or business or dance, no hustle, no rap, no G. And most damning of all: no looks.”  pg(137)

This quote sets quite a precedent for how Oscar is treated throughout the rest of the book. This is due to the fact that all of these qualities that Oscar seams to lack are expected to be seen in a Dominican male. The quote also puts are very large emphasis on the fact that Oscar is not good looking which signifies that this is on of the most important things that he lacks and it is a quality that is sought after in Dominican society.

Throughout the rest of the passage Oscars features are described in a way to explain why he does not get many girls and is considered a “party watcher”. The author uses his physical description as a way to describe why he had committed to being a nerd.He even emphasizes the fact that his few friends called his glasses ant pussy devices which serves to tell you that Oscar did not fit in with the norm of Dominican society. Oscar being somewhat of an outcast made this commitment to nerd culture and his love of books and comics that much easier because he was not really leaving much of a social life behind in his pursuit of the things he loved. The author goes on to describe very specifically what kind of a nerd he is which means that this was one of the more important parts of Oscars life. Overall his lack of acceptance into the Dominican image of masculinity lead him to pursue nerd culture and seek another world in which he could escape.



A Rough Upbringing

“The boy already knew more about revenge than I did. What kind of man was he going to grow up into? “Why did you set this fire?” I asked. “To get even with your father for something else?”(pg25)

This quote depicts a reoccurring theme throughout this chapter “The Fire” where Rufus seems to be being molded into a master. Through this scene alone it is shown how he has already committed an act of revenge and has more experience with it than Dana. When Dana describes how he he already knew more about revenge it and questions who he will become it very clearly signifies that this child is being molded by his parents.

After the quote Rufus goes on to explain that his dad had sold a horse he had wanted and did not even need the money, so in retaliation he set the stable ablaze.Along with this we soon learn that he also committed the act because he had been whipped by his father and Dana becomes shocked with what has happened. Through this we are also able to see that Rufus will soon begin to associate physical punishment as a solution for when someone commits a wrongdoing despite the severity. The father is said to have almost killed the son had he not stopped.This entire ordeal shocks Dana to the bone especially because the contrast of this time period to hers shows a clear divide in the way that people are treated. Another scene where she has this realization is when Rufus refuses to call blacks by their names or even Dana despite knowing her and instead calls them by a slur. Therefore Dana is constantly reminded of where she is and is very worried for what Rufus will be become.


A ruined garden

“Creole ladies who, having staid in the Island during the revolution, relate their sufferings in a manner which harrows up the soul;and dwell on the recollection of their long lost happiness with melancholy delight. St Domingo was formerly a garden.”(pg.70)

I found this quote to be incredibly interesting due to the fact that it presents a different point off view that we are not used to. I provides the viewpoint of the creoles who still live in St. Domingo and what has happened to their place in society and how they live after the fact. They describe St. Domingo as a garden and in a way it was with how prosperous it was and after the revolution all of the places on the island that supported the institution of slavery had been destroyed by the slaves and this wonderful prosperous place was gone. But, it was not wonderful and prosperous for everyone, it was only prosperous for white people and creoles.

towards the last half of the third letter she talks about her experiences with creoles and talks about the two types of people she had met. One was extremely jealous and had killed her own baby and showed the head to the husband and the other lost her husband and children when they were killed by slaves. This paragraph passage provides insight on how the creoles lived during the time and what kind of people they were and she goes on to describe their accents and love of music.With the concluding statement she goes on to say that they are the most irresistible creatures and yet she would not befriend one of them because she fears their stability. By which she most likely is referring to the woman who ordered her own child’s head to be cut off and by this story alone it has affected her overall view of these peoples.


Miranda’s ignorance



“I might call him
A thing divine, for nothing natural
I ever saw so noble.”(Act 1 , scene 2 , pg. 20)

In this quote Miranda is offering up the idea that the entire concept of courtship is found nowhere in nature and this is why she describes Fernando as a being of divine nature. Miranda has not had experience with the outside world aside from this man who has appeared before her due to the shipwreck and this creates confusion in her mind causing her to utter these words. Miranda describes the idea of a noble court as something of a divine nature due to her ignorance of both of these concepts and having no experience with either.

This is incredibly important to the play due to the fact that Miranda presents the idea that nobility is not recognized by nature and therefore sets the tone for the rest of the play where the characters attempt to take each others power or gain their power back in the case of Prospero. It also displays who has the power in the relationship between her and her father between Miranda and her father because Miranda does not completely understand the idea of courtship and yet she has agreed to marry Fernando despite this. Miranda is loyal to her father in every way. Overall this quote characterizes Miranda fairly well because it shows her as someone who is ignorant of the outside world and follows her father with blind loyalty.


Amerigo Vespucci’s perceptions of the natives

“…I saw human flesh suspended from beams between the houses, just as with us it is the custom to hang bacon and pork” (pg.35)

I found this quote to be a direct representation of Vespucci’s point of view on the natives. He was able to look at their culture and lifestyles objectively unlike several of the other explorers who had visited these lands.He goes on to only describe one practice as utterly disgusting and this was the enlargement of their genitals through animal bites.Overall Vespucci observed their culture simply as different from theirs naming many major differences such as the absence of religion or any type of observable governmental system among these people. He almost seemed to admire some of the differences in the land and how fertile it was and all the animals in this new land that he had never seen before. He also goes on to admire their fishing ability and their longevity of life as well as the absence of death from pestilence. Vespucci takes on a point of view which was rare at the time where he simply compared their society to his own and was in awe at how different it was in this new world.His Initial experience almost seems to be a surprising one with all of these abnormalities such as their lack of much clothing or any clothing at all.