Title

Hope for a Brighter Future: How understanding a curse can prevent the vicious cycle of rape culture

Presenter Information

Emily SymmesFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Anastasia Lin

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Presentation - completed/ongoing

Subject Area

English/Communications

Location

Nesbitt 3204

Start Date

23-3-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

23-3-2018 3:00 PM

Description/Abstract

The sexual harassment and mistreatment of minorities is a devastating dilemma that has existed throughout history and remains a significant threat to many. Consequently, conversation surrounding this topic has recently been stimulated through various means such as the “Me Too” movement, which initiated a stand against sexual assault and harassment of women by exposing its prevalence in modern civilization. In The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz utilizes a symbolic curse, the fukú, to highlight instances demonstrating the consequences of rape culture. However, many readers understand the fukú simply as an evil entity that the characters use as a justification for their misfortunes. This paper serves to define the fukú as being synonymous with rape. By analyzing the historical context and symbolism surrounding sexual violence within the text, a clear correlation is observed between the curse’s origins in colonialism and its continuous association with Trujillo’s dictatorship; rape and mistreatment of minorities were prevalent throughout both. This standing issue is a deeply-rooted aspect of our society and it continues to thrive today. Despite its dark themes, his novel is not meant to strike fear in the reader, but instead is intended to spark dialogue and awareness to this ongoing problem in order to have hope for a better future.

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Mar 23rd, 2:00 PM Mar 23rd, 3:00 PM

Hope for a Brighter Future: How understanding a curse can prevent the vicious cycle of rape culture

Nesbitt 3204

The sexual harassment and mistreatment of minorities is a devastating dilemma that has existed throughout history and remains a significant threat to many. Consequently, conversation surrounding this topic has recently been stimulated through various means such as the “Me Too” movement, which initiated a stand against sexual assault and harassment of women by exposing its prevalence in modern civilization. In The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz utilizes a symbolic curse, the fukú, to highlight instances demonstrating the consequences of rape culture. However, many readers understand the fukú simply as an evil entity that the characters use as a justification for their misfortunes. This paper serves to define the fukú as being synonymous with rape. By analyzing the historical context and symbolism surrounding sexual violence within the text, a clear correlation is observed between the curse’s origins in colonialism and its continuous association with Trujillo’s dictatorship; rape and mistreatment of minorities were prevalent throughout both. This standing issue is a deeply-rooted aspect of our society and it continues to thrive today. Despite its dark themes, his novel is not meant to strike fear in the reader, but instead is intended to spark dialogue and awareness to this ongoing problem in order to have hope for a better future.