Yunior de Las Casas: Character Connection

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We all have characters we love. Let’s spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Most of you will probably post about how much you love each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write a love letter to Captain Wentworth. Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Draw a picture of yourself in Jamie’s arms. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

First of all, you guys might be interested in a guest post author Robin Spano wrote for me on Tuesday. In it, she wrote about making a character seem real.  Go on over and see what goes on behind the scenes of a book!

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Book Cover

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz is probably not a book for everyone. It bounces between narrators, back and forth in time, and can be emotionally difficult to read. But what I loved the most about it was one of the narrators, Yunior.

Look at the title of the book. You already know it’s not going to be a light-hearted comedy. But, man, Yunior has a way with words. Being a Southerner who hasn’t set foot in the Northeast, I have no idea how young Dominican men in–New Jersey or New York? I can’t remember–speak. But the patter of Yunior’s words just feels right. As I put it in my review, “He’s a fast-talking, wise-cracking, womanizing smartass. I loved him.” I didn’t read his words; I heard them clearly in my head. If the publisher got a good narrator for the audiobook, I can only imagine how great that turned out.

But about Yunior. He’s the exact opposite of Oscar. He should be hopelessly-geeky, helplessly-lost Oscar’s worst nightmare. You know the stereotype. Yunior’s a player, he hits the gym regularly, he’s out every night with a different woman. He should be merciless to Oscar. But in his own way he loves him. They reach out to each other and find surprising common ground. Yunior starts writing. He grows throughout the novel, but his voice stays true. He’s probably not for everyone, but I adored him. Here’s an example of his narration: (Warning: Tons of profanity!)

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     So what happens at the beginning of October? What always happens to playboys like me.
     I got bopped.
     No surprise, given how balls-out I was living. Wasn’t just any bop either. My girl Suriyan found out I was messing with one of hermanas. Players: never never never fuck with a bitch named Awilda. Because when she awildas out on your ass you’ll know pain for real. The Awilda in question dimed me for fuck knows what reason, actually taped one of my calls to her and before you could say Oh shit everybody knew. Homegirl must have played that thing like five hundred times. Second time I’d been caught in two years, a record even for me. Suriyan went absolutely nuts. Attacked me on the E bus. The boys laughing and running, and me pretending like I hadn’t done anything. Suddenly I was in the dorm a lot. Taking a stab at a story or two. Watching some movies with Oscar. This Island Earth. Appleseed. Project A. Casting around for a lifeline.
     What I should have done was check myself into Bootie-Rehab. But if you thought I was going to do that, then you don’t know Dominican men. Instead of focusing on something hard and useful like, say, my own shit, I focused on something easy and redemptive.
     Out of nowhere, and not in the least influenced by my own shitty state–of course not!–I decided that I was going to fix Oscar’s life. One night while he was moaning on about his sorry existence I said: Do you really want to change it?
     Of course I do, he said, but nothing I’ve tried has been ameliorative.
     I’ll change your life.
     Really? The look he gave me–still breaks my heart, even after all these years.”

And there you have it.  A self-confessed player who not only admits to a heart but admits that it can be broken.  Yunior’s not perfect, I would probably hate him in real life, but he can tell a story.

Who did you connect with this week? Write a post and link up! Be sure to visit everyone else’s posts too!

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1 Comment

  1. Hey there Jen!

    This is a really nice meme! I know I'm going to have fun with it.:D My first topic for this meme is on Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice.:)

    Just read this post of yours. After reading the quote/extract was reminded of Catcher in the Rye. I find foul language rather off-putting. But this character does sound interesting.:D


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