Drown Book Reviews Example
This book vividly captures different aspects immigrants have to face in a foreign country, especially those people who emigrate to the United States of America. Dominicans who immigrate to the United States have been struggling with integration to the American mainstream society and lifestyle. The aspects are depicted in the character Yunior who grows through the novel. We can see how Dominicans in the United States have to face many challenges in order to thrive in a society with a complete cultural orientation from the culture they are used to. In the short story ‘Negocios’ we can see how the poverty theme is brought about by one Ramon, who cannot afford to bring his family to the United States despite living there for some years. It is this state of poverty that drives Jo-Jo to lend him some money that will aid him in bringing his family over to the Northeast (Diaz 2005).
Racial prejudice and discrimination also significantly shapes and influences the behaviors of Dominicans and how they live and interact in the United States. Racial prejudice is evidenced in the way they are allocated houses because the housing agents mostly allocate them houses in predominantly black or Hispanic neighborhoods which are sometimes termed as ghetto. Racial prejudice also comes out when Yunior’s mother narrated to her how African Americans attack Hispanics, and she narrates to him how they ate all her food and locked her up. From this scenario, racial confrontation is prevalent among these communities and more especially to the Dominicans who just settled in the United States. They try to distance themselves from African Americans also by the use of Spanish-English, which is also referred to Spanglish. For instance, the word ‘morenos’ is used to refer to the African Americans instead of using the word ‘negro’ which is equally similar to the strongly derogative and racially loaded English word.
The writer also highlights the challenges and obstacles people who immigrate from The Dominican Republic face when they come to America. Himself being an immigrant when he was six years old, he explains how Ramon, who is Yunior’s father, had to undergo identity problems when he arrived and had to live in an area that was predominantly settled by Dominican immigrants. Caribbean writers who immigrate to the United States often write and document their experiences about challenges of race, ethnic rifts, cultural difference, poverty, fewer education opportunities and even homesickness. The writers, like Diaz, often confront the adverse outcomes that are brought about by race and ethnicity. They lay them bare in order for the future immigrants from their countries can be fully aware of what they will face when they arrive in the United States. By so doing, they prepare them psychologically of what awaits them.
Diaz, Junot. Drown. New York: Riverhead Books. 1997. Print.