Discuss Junot pages 11-33

Pages 11-33
Reading to understand

  • Where is the family from and where do they live?
  • Who is in the family? (Mami, Lola, Oscar, Tio Rudolfo, La Inca)
  • What happens?

In pairs or groups of three:

  • What is Oscar like? List facts and evidence with page numbers.
  • What Lola like? Lists facts and evidence with page numbers.
  • What is Mami like? List facts and evidence with page numbers.
  • What is La Inca like? List facts and evidence with page numbers.

Reading to interpret

  • As we find out later, the book is narrated not by Junot Diaz but by another character – Yunior. We’ll meet Yunior in “Sentimental Education,” but from the narration, what do you think he is like? On pages 20-21 and in the Ray Bradbury reference on 23 there are clues, but also, in general, what does he seem to care about?
  • Yunior didn’t meet Oscar until 1988. Clearly Oscar and Oscar’s family told him much of this information, but some of it he creates as he tries to imagine Oscar’s early life and adolescence. What might he have gotten wrong about Oscar? If Oscar were telling this story, how might things be different?
  • What are Oscar’s biggest barriers to what he wants (a girlfriend)?
  • Is a girlfriend what Oscar really wants? What does he want?
  • Remember that what the book is telling the reader is often different than what the narrator tells a reader or what a character tells a reader. The narrator and Oscar think and talk a lot about sex. What might the BOOK be saying to readers about sex?
  • Why would Diaz (or Yunior?) include all the Spanish words, many of them slang?
  • Why would Diaz (or Yunior?) include all the footnotes?
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