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Culture Diaspora: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Portnoy's Complaint - Essay Example

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Culture Diaspora: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Portnoy’s Complaint The Dominican and the Jewish Cultures The Dominican and Jewish cultures may seem to be extremely opposite with one another, yet, they are built on the same level of restrictions and expectations…
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Culture Diaspora: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Portnoys Complaint
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"Culture Diaspora: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Portnoy's Complaint"

Download file to see previous pages In the Jewish tradition, beliefs come in the form of orthodox Jewish law, the “None Other,” and the traditional “boundaries and restrictions” (Gray n. pag). These limitations are being put forth by Jewish families, highlighting guilt as the primary consequence of deviance to these set of “rules.” Aside from supernatural beliefs, internal racism is also prevalent among Dominicans. They condemn fat people as well as dark skin tone. Indeed, the Dominican society is the epitome of the discrimination towards the African Diaspora (Danticat 95). In line with internal racism is misogyny, which is also evident in the Dominican society. More often than not, women were viewed as mere objects of desire, built solely for men’s consummation (Nussbaum n. pag). Perhaps, this discriminating practice originated from the Dominican culture’s stronghold on machismo--the ultimate belief of the Dominican society that man is meant to dominate. Ever since childhood, males are oriented that the essence of a man is to have plenty of hot girlfriends and to have ‘left-and-right’ relationships with women, all at the same time. This shows that the society not only perceives but imposes on men to see a woman as nothing but a means to an end. Thus, it is quite normal to say that the Dominican males are made to be promiscuous. They are indeed attractive, sexually active and violent (Nussbaum n. pag). ...
Unlike the Dominicans, the Jewish life is expected to be upright, honest, and ethical. Jews are, thus, expected to be men with virtues and principles. Whereas the Dominicans seem to be corrupt, violent, and lustful, the Jews are innocent, passive, and virtuous (Fromm 225). Remarkably, the Jewish culture’s ultimate belief is the theological concept of original sin. Thus, it is not surprising that psychoanalysis, “that clinical faith based on a belief in the transferability and negotiability of long-term debts and credits in guilt,” originated from Jewish ideologies (Greenfeld n. pag). Effects of Culture and Tradition on Oscar Wao and Alexander Portnoy Due to society’s pressure, it is not surprising to know that it could have several--more often than not--detrimental effects on a person who is trying to live up with the society’s expectations. This is true for both Oscar Wao and Alexander Portnoy, who had their taste of misery and guilt due to non-conformity of society’s norms. Since their cultures barred them to do things that they wanted, they explored the exact opposite of what was expected of them. In other words, they did not conform--they chose freedom over standard rules. However, doing so did not guarantee Oscar and Portnoy’s happiness and satisfaction. The force of society was so strong that they needed to undergo the painstaking process of shame, guilt, and being different from the majority. For Oscar Wao, discrimination was just an understatement of what he and other members of the family have gone through. The superstitious belief on foku seemed to have never left them. Starting from the generation of Oscar’s parents, their family has already been experiencing several unlucky ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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