How Junot Diaz's Life Inspired the Writing of Negocios - Essay Sample

Published: 2021-07-30
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Harvey Mudd College
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Research paper
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Junot Diaz is one of the most famous authors in the world due to his amazing works in writing. Currently he is a professor in university as well as an editor working with Boston Review. Diaz published his first ever book in 1995 which was titled Drown. The book was a collection of several short stories. This book addresses the issues that Dominican immigrants faced when they went to the United States of America in search of the American Dream. Negocios is one of the short stories in the book Drown. This short story has been inspired by the life of Junot Diaz from being born in Dominican Republic to being an immigrant in America.

Junot Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic in a town called Santo Domingo. He was born in a family where they were five children and he was the third born. While in his early childhood he lived with only his mother and the grandparents. His father had left the rest of the family back in Dominican Republic and gone to the United States where he was working. Diaz has said in an interview that he dedicated the book titled Drown to his mother because of her endless support to take care of him (Wroe 12).

The short story of Negocious is about a man called Ramon who leaves his family in Dominican Republic and travels to the United States of America to look for job opportunities. Ramon was initially working hard so that he could get money and bring his whole family to America for them to be citizens of America. He was ambitious to bring them to America and event sent arbitrary sums (to his family) that often left him broke (Diaz 177). However his relationship with his family begins to wane off and he is no longer devoted to bring them to America. He came to a point where he wasnt ready to start bringing his family over (Diaz 179). He wanted to be alone in America now. The book is filled with tales of pain and agony of growing up without a father. The young boy in the story tries to trace his father who abandoned them in Dominican Republic to go to the United States. This was inspired by the early childhood life of Diaz whose father had gone to America. Diaz therefore narrates a story of an absentee father just like his own father who was not there when he grew up.

Junot Diaz came from a family that had no cohesion because he had an abusive father. While in America he had a problem with communication because English was a foreign language to him that he did not know. Diaz describes his father as having broken his heart as a kid because of how he treated him and the siblings. Diazs father was a cheat and a player according to his son Junot Diaz. His father was a veteran in the military of the Dominican Republic. He was strict with all his children and a harsh disciplinarian. He later disappeared, abandoned them and has not spoken to any of his children since Diaz was 19 years old. Diaz had a very troubled relationship with his father and they are no longer in contact (Jaggi 16)Negocios is a short story that looks at Yuniors father who is called Ramon and focuses on his life as an immigrant. Ramon leaves his family in Dominican Republic and travels to America to look for a job. He is absent from his family for a number of years and abandons them when Yunior was four years old. He works in Miami then moves to New York where he meets a woman and marries her in order to get a citizenship to America. They live together and eventually get a child. Ramon later leaves the woman and goes back to Dominican Republic to get the rest of the family. Yuniors mother says that Ramon is a coward for abandoning his family and getting involved with another woman. Ramon is unfaithful because he cheats on his wife and has abusive tendencies towards his children which create a rift between him and the whole family. The story narrates about a reckless father who abandons his family while the children are still young and goes to America where he marries another wife. This was inspired by Diaz life story where his father went to America when Diaz was young and he is said to have been a player.

Junot Diaz still values the culture of his native country such as family being an important entity. He was born in Dominican Republic by parents who were native citizens of this country. He grew up there until he was five years old after which his family immigrated to United States of America. Diaz has relatives in the Dominican Republic and he goes there a few times in a year. Diaz values his family especially his mother who raised him up when the father was not in the picture. He has embraced the Dominican culture in various aspects because it is his mother culture. For Dominican people, family is a very important aspect of their culture. These people value the social ties and consider family to be a priority.

Despite Ramon being far away in America he used to take care of his family which was back in the Dominican Republic. He would send them money for upkeep on regular basis. He struggles to do many jobs in order to get money, become a citizen and bring his family to America. He walks for long distances just to save some money and send it to his family who are back in Dominican Republic. He goes to the extent of marrying another woman so he could get a citizenship then abandons her to go back to his family. He used to live in the house of his new wife without paying rent and still eating her food and sleeping in her bed. Eventually he gets a good paying job and he brings the whole family to the United States of America. The perception of Diaz about family was influenced by his origin from Dominican Republic. This perception in turn inspired the writing of Negocios by Junot Diaz which is centered on the family of Yunior and how they relate to each other. The story also shows that Ramon valued his family and takes care of them even when he is out of the country.

Junot Diaz went to school at Madison Park Elementary in United States of America. He loved reading and he would walk for about four miles to the public library so as to borrow books. Later on Diaz attended Rutgers College where he majored in English. He survived through college by doing various jobs such as pumping gas, delivery of pool tables, washing dishes and an employment at Raritan River Steel. Life in the United States of America as an immigrant was rather hard and one had to find a way to survive it all. In an interview he said that he has seen the tough life in America since he started off at the bottom before becoming successful like he is right now. This shows how determined Diaz was in achieving what he had perceived to be necessary (O'Rourke 3).

Ramon starts to face hardships immediately he gets to America. He had no family, no shelter and very little money when he got to America. Initially he shares a house with three people and is doing two jobs. After realizing that one of them was using the rest because he had a bigger bedroom he decided to leave. He walks for many miles while going to New York just to save the little money that he already had. He had bad shoes, no jacket and he tied his money in his boxers which was very uncomfortable to him. When Ramon was going to America he had envisioned himself getting a good job quickly and settling not having to struggle to make ends meet like he did. He secures a job in his first year where he cleans offices and washes dishes to earn a living. He was working for about 20 hours a day for the week. He gets a car and an apartment where he lives with his family who he brought from The Dominican Republic. The story portrays Ramon who represents the Dominican immigrants to be hardworking people who do multiple jobs to earn a living. This story was inspired by the life of Diaz in college as an immigrant in America where he used to work several jobs to get money. This is because life as an immigrant had many challenges for Diaz and he has reflected this in the story by the numerous troubles that Ramon goes through.

The life of an author can influence the context that a writer chooses to use when writing. Junot Diaz is one of the best writers who wrote Drown which is a collection of short stories. Various aspects of life can influence how and what an author writes. In the short story called Negocios, Diaz was inspired by aspects of his life such as childhood life, family, culture and important experiences in life. This style of writing is good because it breathes life to a book and it becomes realistic.


Works Cited

Diaz, Junot. "Negocios." Diaz, Junot. Drown. New York: Riverhead Books, 1996. 161-208.

Jaggi, Maya. "Junot Diaz: A Truly All-American Writer." Independent (2008): 9-18.

O'Rourke, Meghan. "Questions for Junot Diaz." Slate (2008): 1-4.

Wroe, Nicholas. "Jounot Diaz: A Life In Books." The Guardian (2012): 7-19.



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