The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao | Study Guide

Junot Díaz

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Course Hero. "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 May 2017. Web. 15 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, May 25). The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/

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Course Hero. "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide." May 25, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/.

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Course Hero, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide," May 25, 2017, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao | Epilogue | Summary

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Summary

Lola's daughter is a beautiful girl, and on a string around her neck she wears three azbaches: one Oscar wore, one Lola wore, and one La Inca gave Belicia as a child. Yunior says this is "powerful elder magic" that protects her. But he knows one day she will learn of her family's curse, and she will have the same dreams of mongooses and a man with no face. He predicts "one day she will stop being afraid and she will come looking for answers" from him. He imagines showing her all of Oscar's work someday when she is older and comes to visit. He also believes that if she is smart and brave she can put an end to the curse. Yunior flips through the only comic book Oscar brought with him to Santo Domingo before he died, a copy of Watchmen. Oscar made only one note in the book, which reads "nothing ever ends."

A package arrives eight months after Oscar dies, containing two manuscripts. In a letter enclosed to Lola, Oscar tells her to be on the lookout for a second package, which contains "everything I've written on this journey." But the second package never arrives. Yunior discovers Oscar did finally have sex with Ybón and ends his letter with the words "The beauty! The beauty!"

Analysis

Yunior believes the curse of Oscar's family is still alive and will continue to be until the family fills in its blank pages. Coincidentally, Oscar's final manuscript goes missing, which adds a new link in the ongoing páginas en blanco, or blank pages, of the family's lives and history. Yunior suspects this means someday Lola's daughter will come looking for him, and for the answers to her family's problems. He imagines "maybe, if she's as smart and as brave as I'm expecting she'll be, she'll take all we've done and all we've learned and add her own insights and she'll put an end to it." His hope reveals he does in fact believe in the family's curse and that it can be ended only when someone is unafraid to gather all knowledge of the family's past and speak it out loud.

The disappearance of Oscar's final manuscript echoes the disappearance of Abelard's alleged book about Trujillo, and so the cycle of missing or lost information in the family continues, which seems to be tied to their curse in some way. This is why Yunior believes eventually Lola's daughter will begin having the same dreams about the Man Without a Face. Oscar's final words, "The beauty! The beauty!" intimate that rather than see his own life as tragic, he was ultimately able to find some wonder and excitement in it after experiencing not just physical but emotional intimacy with Ybón. This final thought echoes the annotation Yunior discovers in Oscar's copy of Watchmen, where one character says, "I did the right thing, didn't I? It all worked out in the end." Another character responds, "In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends." These final thoughts leave the reader considering the notion that the curse is not over, despite Oscar's final happiness.

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