Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

Yajaira M. Padilla

Committee Member

Geffrey M. Davis

Second Committee Member

Sean A. Dempsey

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics; Caribbean american authors; Criticism; Junot Diaz; Interpretation; Narration; Short story

Abstract

This thesis examines how Junot Díaz creates and constructs his literary alter-ego and narrator, Yunior de las Casas, and examines the Social and cultural aspects, such as race, ethnicity, and gender, that condition or influence Yunior’s construction. I argue that Díaz uses the short story as a subversive genre and modernist narrative techniques, such as shifts in space-time and focalization, to reflect Yunior’s diasporic, fragmented subjectivity. My analysis includes narratological and generic readings of Drown and This Is How You Lose Her, with a brief look at The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, paying particular attention to Yunior as narrator. Finally, this thesis traces Yunior’s construction and development through Junot Díaz’s narratives, and this mapping of Yunior’s identity explores race, ethnicity, masculinity, and gender as it relates to heteronormative dominicanidad.

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