Life of Oscar Wao analysis
Why does society as a whole stand for everything it fights? In a world that criminalizes bullying and preaches about equality, do social crimes slip through the cracks unnoticed. It is true that things we are afraid of draw our attention, and we are dedicated to crushing our fears aren’t we? Did a kindergartener know what a terrorist was before September Eleventh? No, and he likely wouldn’t have been able to locate the Middle East anymore than his house on a map. The collapse of the Soviet Union ended the thought of an immediate end of the world by nuclear war.
A war we thought we have swept under the rug is the war on social injustice. America is the land of the free, because of the great lengths we go to protect ourselves, but as a result we have ostracized our own people and abandoned our founding principals. America was formed by outcasts from every region in the world. Many sought religious freedom and others escaped from trouble at home. As a nation full of the unwanted we do a lot to make others feel ostracized. The Jim Crow laws, which were in place in the south for almost a century accomplished the sole goal of separating African Americans from the rest of society.
Life of Oscar Wao analysis Essay Example
During the onset of World War Two we incarcerated thousands of Japanese Americans, because of their heritage. We have a history of making every effort to prevent change and divide this nation. All of this is simply evidence that this problem has existed between races and communities, since this nation’s founding. Today, however, it is unacceptable to target other races and as a result we have turned our focus to within our communities. Our change of focus toward our communities is profound in the school systems. In The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao a Dominican boy living in the ghetto experiences both ends of what it means to be Dominican.
Oscar has experienced two very different lives, one where people honor him and another where people walk over him. The ironic part is, which one he had first, how Oscar could go from the top to the bottom without changing himself shocks me. Oscar seems to be contempt with his lifestyle, only his family can’t seem to accept this fact. Oscar was meant to be the ladies man he was in his early years and not the big, sci-fi loving teen he turned into. The only people who push for a change in Oscar’s life are the ones who surround him. “Oscar, Lola warned repeatedly, you’re going to die a virgin unless you start changing…
Cut the hair, lose the glasses, exercise” family always knows best, right? Oscar’s family is willing to force an alternate lifestyle upon him and if they are willing to target family they’re likely target others. Oscar, to the surprise of others, accepts his position amongst his fellow dominicans, realizing he will never bat three hundred or date the prettiest girl in school. Oscar is contempt with his life and enjoys every second, which is what others should understand and appreciate. If they fail to do this our very own principals, which were based on freedoms of the individual are being threatened.
This war being fought at home is largely one sided with the people who posses social power using it to suppress those like Oscar. While Oscar is an example of a victim, the Underground man is an example of a persecutor. He may not be the first person you think of when it comes to bullies, but think of The Underground man’s outlook on society. He seeks to change societies many faults, but within himself many of the same stereotypes he seeks to destroy exist. His rare dialogues with friends and Liza often leave the reader frustrated, because of his tendency to contradict himself.
He finally meets a new face with Liza, and he allows himself to open up to her at first, but this quickly changes. His need to develop a profile for her drives her away from him. He does this to himself and in a sick way it almost satisfies him. The Underground man seems to enjoy being the martyr for the downtrodden. It is almost like he does not belong there, but he desires to be and as a result he continuously shoots himself in the foot during any social interaction. He continues to do this as he searches for purpose in the taverns of St.
Petersburg and he does this hoping to get thrown out of the bar in a physical confrontation. He makes up reasons for being thrown out and when nobody satisfies his temporary addiction, he takes a forgettable event and turns it into the next great atrocity of man kind. The Underground man fights to belong, and when he can’t he targets others for no sensible reason. People who are quick to judge and persecute are often the most conflicted internally. This odd plight the Underground man suffers through resembles that of many americans, who seek a good for society, but instead drive society further apart.
The media is perhaps the strongest weapon for change. The liberal and conservative media both have a tendency to blow things out of proportion, and people latch on to the hysteria that is caused. The West Memphis Three were victimized for their differences within the community. One of the boys wore black around town and listened to metal music, thus he was instantly paired with devil worshiping. An accusation of devil worshiping was enough to send him and his two friends two prison for about twenty-five years. This town was afraid of a new, said to be violent religion and quickly expelled those involved.
Such drastic measures were so easily taken by innocent people who were overwhelmed in a time of racing emotions. By allowing the media to sway public opinion; we run the risk of allowing hysteria to take over our actions. We have found that people are quick to judge those who don’t fit in with the community for many reasons, but the sad part is that this is often a result of intense and quickly reseeding emotions. People have two types of persecution in them: they either hold deep grudges based on stereotypes or they over react for a short amount of time.
The problem is the damage inflicted on the targets of the hazing. Kids are prone to the quickly fading hate and this often hurts kids the most who don’t understand, like me, the source of the hate. Isn’t it true that bullies in school are often letting out pent up aggression from home? This may be so, but what does it say about our parents. Adults tend to be the owners of grudges and these grudges show the true colors of stereotypes in every level of society. Stereotypes result from a lack of two things: knowledge and understanding.
You can know everything about someone else, but if you are unwilling to understand the facts, not much progress can be made. The world is not all dark, and there are many people who do great things to bring awareness to this issue. Our teachers do a great deal to prevent bullying in school and they create programs to break down barriers that exist. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly stands for those who feel betrayed and outcasted by society. Many of his songs speak about the trials he passed and essentially crawled through. His fans relate to him and feed his drive to give back through music.
In his song See My Tears his verse “Look man, I been through it all, and I’m a damned if I got this far, And I let them strip me of this message, let these haters take my heart. This for the ones that had it hard, the ones like me, the underdogs. ”, MGK speaks of the times he was considered down and out, but he won’t let those who doubted him take everything he made himself to be. This speaks to the belief that everyone has a potential and it can be reached in many different ways. Potential is something that brings up an interesting subject, because maybe those who stand out against the social norm are in fact better than the majority.
The majority becomes contempt with itself after some time and it needs people to shake the foundations it stands on. America is the land of the free, because of the great lengths to protect ourselves, but as a result we have ostracized our own people and abandoned our founding principals. We have gone to great lengths to protect ourselves against foreign enemies, but Americans have overlooked the changes occurring within. We have committed crimes throughout our history and its time for change.
Oscar is an example of those who are victimized for being different, and The Underground man persecutes others for not being up to his standards. They represent the two sides of the war, that threatens our founding principals. Society has many upstanding people who fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. These people are our best chance to repair the weakening foundations within our communities. Their efforts may take some time, but their efforts are proof, that not all is lost. America was founded with the idea that change is necessary, and as long as people are willing to fight there is always hope.