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Oscar Wao and the Fukú
Transcript of Oscar Wao and the Fukú
A counterspell to the fukú, "a curse or a blessing".
Examples of Fuku
Oscar struggles to lose his virginity.
Oscar cannot lose weight.
Constant fighting between Beli and Lola.
Beli's bad luck with guy and dating.
People bring Beli and Oscar to the cane fields to kill them.
Examples of Zafa
Oscar finally loses his virginity
" Which is why it's important to remember fuku doesn't always strike the lightning. Sometimes it works patiently, drowning a nigger by degrees, like with the Admiral or the U.S. in paddies outside of Saigon. Sometimes it's slow and sometimes it's fast. It's doom-ish in that way, makes it harder to put a finger on, to brace yourself against. pg. 4-5
"Everybody in Santo Domingo has a fuku story knocking around in their family. I have a twelve-daughter uncle in the Cibao who believed that he'd been cursed by an old love never to have male children. Fuku. I have a tia who believed she'd been denied happiness because she'd laughed at a rival's funeral. Fuku. My paternal abuelo believes that diaspora was Trujillo's payback to the pueblo that betrayed him. Fuku. " pg. 5
Meet Da Crew
Generally a curse or doom of some kind; specifically the curse and the doom of the new world. Also called the fuku of the Admiral because the Admiral was both the midwife and one of the great European victims; despite "discovering" the new world the Admiral died miserable and syphilitic , hearing (dique) devine.
Believed to have stemmed from Trujillo a long time ago.
"It's perfectly fine if you don't believe in these "superstitions." In fact, it's better than fine ---it's perfect. Because no matter what you believe, fuku believes in you." pg. 5
"Zafa. It used to be more popular in the old days, bigger, so to speak, in Macondo than in McOndo. There are people, though, like my tio Miguel in the Bronx who still zafa everything. He's old-school like that. If the Yanks commit an error in the late innings it's zafa; if somebody brings shells in from the beach it's zafa; if you serve a man parcha it's safa.. Twenty-four-hour zafa in the hope that the bad luc will not have had time to cohere. " pg. 7
"This time Oscar didnt cry when they drove him back to the canefields. Zafa would be here soon, and the cane had grown well and thick and in places you could hear the stalks clacking against each other like triffids and you could hear kriyol voices lost in the night." Pg. 320
"They drove past a bus stop and for a second Oscar imagined he saw his whole family getting on a guagua, even his poor dead abuelo and his poor dead abuela, and who is driving the bus but the Mongoose, and who is the cobrador but the Man Without a Face, but it was nothing but a final fantasty." Pg. 321
"This (the second package) contains eerything I've written on this journey. Everything I think you will need. You'll understand when you read my conclusions. (It's the cure to what ails us, he scribbled in the margins. (The Cosmo DNA.)" Pg. 333
By the prologue's end, it's clear that this story of one poor guy's cursed life will also be the story of how 500 years of historical and familial bad luck shape the destiny of its far, sad, smart, lovable and short-lived protagonist.
Critical Essay Quote
The novel, The Brief Wondrous LIfe of Oscar Wao, written by Junot Diaz, revolves around the character's beliefs of the idea that their lives are controlled by the Fuku curse. The Fuku curse can be unravelled by the Zafra, which is also present in the characters lives, especially oscar's life. Oscar is the character that undergoes the most recognizable conflicts of Fuku and Zafa. The characters believe Trujillo is the stem of the curse; however without the curse, all events would have different outcomes. For example, if Oscar had died when he tried to commit suicide, he never would have lost his virginity. Overall, the characters allow Fuku to control their lives, but as long as Fuku is present, so is Zafa.