Questioning of Identity

“There was the initial euphoria of finding himself alone at college, free of everything, completely on his fucking own, and with it an optimism that here among these thousands of young people he would find someone like him. That, alas, didn’t happen. The white kids looked at his black skin and his afro and treated him with inhuman cheeriness. The kids of color, upon hearing him speak and seeing him move his body, shook their heads. You’re not Dominican.” (page 51)

This quote shows Oscars eagerness and excitement of going to college, envisioning acceptance but he is not accepted. He withholds optimism in hope of finding someone ‘like him’, which shows Oscar lacks a sense of relatablitity to those he was surrounded by.  Oscar sees Rutgers college as an escape of his reality in a sense. He is now on his own and ‘free of everything’, optimistic, yet at college is only further confined to the social prejudices that Dominican men are held to. At his college (Rutgers) the white kids, are far too nice, that it does not seem genuine to him. The students who are colored, do not accept Oscar to be “Dominican” enough, to their standards. His physical features identify him as Dominican but his language is anything but. His knowledge of books and fascination of Star Wars, furthered him from the ideal Dominican male. Oscar lacks the masculinity needed to be accepted into his own culture. Oscar in turn is torn between two worlds, and his identity is questioned.

One thought on “Questioning of Identity

  1. Oscar believed that Rutger College will be the place where he can finally find friends and finally be himself without feeling ashamed. But, like you said, it wasn’t. If anything it was just as worst at home. He couldn’t fit in at home and now he can’t even fit in at college. Its sad because for most of his life, he has been trying to find an escape from reality. He distracted himself with his obsession of fantasy films, comic books, and anything nerdy to escape his crazy family. College was an escape from his crazy family and his recent heart break. Being in college made him realized that because of his race, he had to be a masculine Dominican boy who can get all the girls, in order to be accepted anywhere. For his whole life he was trying to escape this stereotype but failed.

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