Abelard’s fall is the beginning of the end of the Cabral family (fukú?). Why didn’t he take the girls and leave the island? How can you explain the bizarre deaths of the entire family (except Beli). Fukú

Final Questions for Oscar Wao Number your answers. 1. When Lola is reflecting on her relationship with her mother, she states that “now that I’m a mother myself I realize that she could not have been any different” (208). Explain what she means. 2. Abelard’s fall is the beginning of the end of the Cabral family (fukú?). Why didn’t he take the girls and leave the island? How can you explain the bizarre deaths of the entire family (except Beli). Fukú? 3. I’m not even going to ask you whether or not, after reading this novel, if you believe in fukú. As Yunior states in the beginning of the novel, “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, fukú believes in you” (5). How do you interpret that now that you’ve read the novel? 4. In the height of Oscar’s depression, when “he went on long rides . . ..drove as far as Amish country [ate] alone at a roadside diner . . ..Sometimes at night he dreamed about the Mongoose” (269). Why would he dream of the Mongoose when he’s so depressed, when up until that point it had showed up as some type of “savior” (269)? Explain the contradiction. 5. Why did Díaz choose Ybón, “a semiretired puta,” for his last and final love – a love that is finally consummated? 6. Throughout the novel, Oscar reads, writes, and dreams about Galactic heroes. Do you think in the end Oscar is heroic or foolish? 7. What did Oscar teach Yunior? OVERALL QUESTIONS: (Reflecting on the novel, since you have now completed it.) 8. The author, the primary narrator, and the protagonist of the book are all male, but some of the strongest characters and voices in the book are female. Who do you think makes the strongest, boldest decisions in the book? Given the machismo and swagger of the narrative voice, how does the author express the strength of the female characters? 9. Along that line of thought, in a few chapters Lola takes over the narration. Why do you think it is important to the novel to let Lola have a chance to speak for herself? Do you think Díaz is successful in creating a female narrative voice as his is the male one? 10. Will fukú continue? 11. One of the reasons we read is to be lifted into other worlds and cultures, places we may never experience and certainly not from the perspective of those who inhabit them. Having said that, what did you learn about the Dominican Republic and Dominicans and the challenges of being an immigrant? What did you learn from the characters about the human experience?

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