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.


One thought on “Oscars struggle with masculinity

  1. I agree with what you had to say about this quote, it perfectly describes how the rest of his life is going to pan out. Specifically how he fits into society, him being a nerdy, unattractive, non-fit guy with no game.Because he was none of these typically Dominican stereotypes, Oscar as you said turned to science-fiction an other things that would be perceived as nerdy. I also think its worth noting that due to him not being these Dominican stereotypes and instead being a nerd it leads him into some positives, such as the fact that he is a writer which is a pretty cool thing to say especially when you’re only in college.

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