The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Tragic Life of Oscar Wao: Understanding the Downfall of a Virtuous Protagonist College

In the novel, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, the main protagonist, Oscar de Leon, is introduced to the reader as a despicable and a rather distasteful individual. He is characterized as an overweight nerd who is often avoided by the people, and particularly the woman, around him. However, Oscar’s tragic life provides evidence that he can be considered an Aristotelian tragic hero. Oscar de Leon, in The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, is a tragic hero because he is naturally virtuous, possesses tragic flaws, and is faced with undeserved misfortune.

Oscar views himself as a hero and, by nature, is an individual of virtue despite some of his insensible behavior. Throughout the novel, Oscar often visualizes himself through these fictional heroic characters, showing that he desires being a hero. For instance, the moment before his death Oscar gives this speech: "He told them that it was only because of her love that he’d been able to do the thing that he had done, the thing they could no longer stop, told them if they killed him they would probably feel nothing and their children would probably feel nothing either, not until they were old and weak or about to be struck by a car and then...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1056 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8293 literature essays, 2287 sample college application essays, 359 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in