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Published: 08-12-2019

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A Study Of The Theme Of Machismo And Masculinity In Junot Diaz's Novel Drown

Masculinity revolves amongst most societies, and has been passed down from generation to generation. In Latino culture gender roles have been set by society and have ultimately held guys as superior to females. In the novel Drown by Junot Diaz, the author portrays in two of the stories “Fiesta” and “Drown” how the protagonist, Yunior, becomes influenced by the messages he receives on intersectionality along with masculinity and machismo Diaz reveals how males are influenced to comply with masculine norms and are literally “drowned” with masculinity. These examples set by the globe surrounding Yunior forces him to act the way a “man” ought to. In this collection of brief stories,”men” are linked with showing dominance more than ladies, embracing their powerful masculine pride, and displaying firm prejudice against homosexual men and women.

The protagonist’s older brother, Rafa, sets an example of how a man must behave by constantly generating improper remarks involving women. In “Fiesta”, Rafa expresses “ It is the only pussy you will ever get,” conveying how he is currently generating inappropriate comments to Yunior, regardless of how young age (Diaz 31). The audience can see the clear, masculinity in Rafa’s words, as he utilizes the word “pussy” to refer to having sexual intercouse with a female. Nonetheless, Rafa continues to exemplify his masculinity in this brief story by wanting to have an interaction with Leti and Mari. At this point, the reader can infer how Yunior starts to express his masculinity as later mentions “ Leti had some severe tetas and I could tell that my brother was going to gun for her (Diaz 32).” Yunior begins to show how he expresses the message he receives from Rafa about ladies. The protagonist could not possibly have that dirty mind about females at such a young age. Rafa’s remarks lead Yunior to begin thinking about women in a sexual manner. At the exact same time, Rafa demonstrates gender roles to Yunior by presenting women as to be significantly less than guys by way of his terminology. The manner Rafa expresses about girls causes Yunior to start off thinking of them extremely similarly.

Yunior’s father vividly illustrates his masculinity and maschismo via his actions, which influence the protagonist’s definition on what it is to be a man. In “Fiesta”, from the quite commence the audience is informed about Yunior’s father’s disloyalty to his wife. The protagonist’s mother is continuously mistreated and oppressed by his father all through the trajectory of the story. The father’s dominance is best viewed when he says “He ain’t eating” and Yunior point out “ Mami pretended to assist Rafa with the pernil (Diaz 37).” This shows how his father dominates and constrains Yunior’s mother of her voice. The father’s machismo, along with his masculinity, presents an instance to follow for the protagonist. For the duration of the celebration Yunior begins to think about his mom and how she used to be content. He mentions, “ All of a sudden I wanted to go more than and hug her, for no other purpose than I loved her, but there had been about eleven fat jiggling bodies amongst us (Diaz 41-42). Yunior undoubtedly loves his mother, however, it seems his strong masculine pride impedes him from going over and expressing his feelings for her. The audience can conclude that the “ eleven fat jiggling bodies” represents an obstacle for Yunior in displaying his really like for her. He alternatively internalizes the sudden urge of showing affection to his mother as he primarily has absorbed the message of masculinity his father has offered off. The protagonist refuses to express his great enjoy for his mother in front of everybody, if it were otherwise, he just would have gone up to do it.

Yunior’s masculine behavior along machismo starts to be viewed much more in “ Drown” as he is now older. Yunior begins to present himself as the man in charge of the household and has asserted dominance more than his beloved mother. When the protagonist walks in on her mother talking on the phone with his father, he says “ I walk in on her and hang up the telephone. That’s sufficient, I say” (Diaz 101). Yunior expresses his masculinity by asserting himself as the man of the house and desires to be the new provider for his mother. Now with his father out of the image, it seems as if Yunior desires his mother to depend on him now. The audience views one more sign of Yunior’s masculinity when he argues with his mother about Beto seeking for him. He becomes angry and replies, “ She notices the tightening of my arms.” displaying his energy and attempting to assert his authority over her (Diaz 95). His masculinity is observed as he does not want to have anything with Beto right after his sexual incident with him. Yunior also displays machismo as he portrays how he is the 1 in charge and she has to preserve shut. He demonstrates his idea of women’s position in society by illustrating he has authority more than hers. His father’s previous messages of authority over girls have forged the protagonist to turn into this way with his mother.

The protagonist homophobia becomes an concern when he finds out his very best buddy, Beto, reveals himself as to be gay. As a young kid, Yunior received messages on females by his brother Rafa as readers can refer back to “Fiesta”. His brother would make sexual remarks about girls and this caused Yunior to believe like him. This outcomes in Yunior increasing up with a robust prejudice against homosexuals. At the quite start off of “Drown”, Yunior uses the insulting term “pato” to refer to Beto and this shows his homophobia.Yunior recounts, “ Largely I stayed in the basement, terrified that I would finish up abnormal, a fucking pato, but he was my very best pal and back then that mattered to me more than anything” and shows the audience how much he was against becoming queer, but he cared a lot more about his friendship (Diaz 104). Even so, Yunior’s homophobia remains present and their friendship ends soon after sharing an explicit moment with each other. Yunior states “ We sat in front of his tv, in our towels, his hands bracing against my abdomen and thighs” (Diaz 105). That moment leads Yunior to turn out to be terrified and leads him to not want to communicate with Beto any longer. Yunior wants to disassociate himself from Beto for being gay to reassure his own sexual preference. The continuous insults directed to gay guys he makes all through the story are just a way of him illustrating his masculinity. His powerful masculine pride causes him to view homosexuals as not to be actual “men” .

The intersectionality of class and masculinity location an influence on Yunior’s thought on what a man genuinely is all about. In “Fiesta”, Yunior points out about his father’s vehicle, “ Brand-new, lime-green and bought to impress (Diaz 27). The author portrays the relation in between class and masculinity via the father’s van to reveal the message that Yunior receives about being a man. Yunior mentions the van was “bought to impress” and relates to masculinity by how guys tend to like “showing off”. The vans vibrant color only draws much more focus to men and women and aids trigger an impression for the father on girls. Automobiles are typically connected with masculine guys, and to catch the consideration of females. The reader can conclude how the van is associated with Yunior’s father’s mistress. According to Adultery and the Immigrant Narrative by Natalie Friedman, “The van, a symbol of the family’s rising prosperity in the US, is a supply of pride for the father, but a nuisance to Yunior, whose sensitive stomach is a figurative barometer of his family’s troubles: as their prosperity grows, so, as well, does his parents’ marital discord” (Friedman 12). The quote explains how Yunior is impacted by the van as it is a symbol of disparity in his loved ones for him. Nevertheless, the van itself appears to cause him to feel the pressure of class and masculinity and leads for him to feel uncomfortable in it. The father’s message on class and masculinity pressure the protagonist, and reveals how he negotiates with it by throwing up each time he rides the car.

Yunior’s definition of being man is significantly influenced by numerous of his father’s past actions in the previous as the reader might acknowledge in “Drown”. The protagonists presented the message he receives about masculinity along with class when he takes his mother to the mall to shop. Yunior mentions, “ When we arrive at the mall I give her fifty dollars… hating the image I have of her, selecting through the sale bins, wrinkling everything…my father would give her a hundred dollars at the finish of every single summer” (Diaz 96-97) this illustrates to the reader his interpretation of becoming a man . Yunior demonstrates that his father’s example of providing income to his mother, influences him to do the very same. As a “man”, Yunior believes he must assistance his mother with money and give for her now that his father is out of the picture. He presents a classic example of manliness by setting himself up as the provider for his property. In addition to masculinity, this quote also shows the intersection of class that Yunior expresses by not wanting to see his mother shop at the sale section. Though they do not have significantly cash, the protagonist refuses to see his mother shop at the clearance section, consequently, offers her income. The audience can vividly see the intersectionality in between class and masculinity and how Yunior portrays it at the mall with his mother.

All throughout the text Yunior is continually overwhelmed with messages of what it is to be a man. Diaz portrays how the protagonist receives the messages of intersectionality among masculinity, machismo, and class, and utilizes them to define himself on what a man must be in society. In “Fiesta” and “Drown”, Yunior demonstrates how he expresses his definition being masculine ,and provides the reader with a depiction on how the junction of several factors lead him to turn out to be the way he is. The author reveals how masculinity in society continues to prosper as the world surrounding us revolves around it. Just like Yunior, males are raised and influenced to embrace masculine pride and typically serves as a stress to define themselves as guys in society.
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