An Agonizing Journey Of A Young Boy In Junot Diaz's Drown '

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Kimberly Ma English 1B Jordana Finnegan June 15, 2015 An Agonizing Journey of a Young Boy Growing up can be tough, especially when your perception of everything begins to change. It can be especially tough when you are living in a chaotic world without a father figure to help color the black and white world. In Drown by Junot Diaz, Yunior, a mere teenage boy, struggles to come to terms with how harsh and unpredictable life can be. At a young age, he learns to adapt to the hostile world with the absence of his father and a rough life with his mother. As we see him develop in the novel, we see him struggle through external issues like abandonment, poverty, and hopes of achieving the American Dream, as well as internal issues like his sexuality…show more content…
Following older traditions and customs, the “money maker” is usually the man of the house. Since his father is away, the family is forced to take care of each other: “Rafa caught our annual case of worms it was only by skimping on our dinners that Mami could afford to purchase the Verminox” (Diaz 70). The family’s struggle to buy treatment for Rafa’s illness demonstrates how much the family must sacrifice in order to keep each other alive. It is not uncommon for immigrants to sacrifice their necessities in exchange for medicine or treatment for their deteriorating health. In the article, “Immigration and Poverty”, by Robert J. Sammuelson, the author describes how the decline in health is related to their poverty: “Many people at the bottom are immigrants, and because they arrive poor, they instantly aggravate all these problems. They take lousy job with low wages and no (health) insurance” (Sammuelson 1). This research can be connected to Yunior’s life when his mother cannot afford a good job to cover costs of health insurance. As a result, the family must sacrifice daily necessities, like food, in order to maintain their health and survive through their tough…show more content…
The American Dream is a prime example of struggling in hopes of living a better life. The American dream can be defined as “citizens having an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and an initiative” (Google). While people believe that this opportunity is applied to everyone, the definition does not hold true for every American. For instance, Yunior’s father travels to New York in hopes of achieving big things, succeeding, and hoping to eventually buy a home. He is determined to find work and build his reputation from there. However, even though he works hard, maybe even harder than other workers, he is still far from achieving the American Dream. Ramon describes his troublesome experiences while working in America, “It was the first time he had moved outside the umbra of his fellow immigrants. The racism was pronounced...he worked through that period, got a raise and the highest performance rating in his department and shittiest schedule in the entire fabrica” (Diaz 194). It seems that Yunior’s father, Ramon reaches the tips of the American Dream, but then he is pulled back because of his background as an

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