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“How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” by Junot Diaz

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Barfield50
Words 963
Pages 4
ENGL 2201
Essay #1
Due 10/8/14

“How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” by Junot Diaz

“How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” is a short story by Junot Diaz. The short story takes the semblance of an instructional manual, or guide, asserting guidance as to how to act or behave depending upon the ethnicity and social class of the reader’s date. Diaz’s dating guide, aimed toward teenage males, accomplishes authority of knowledge by delivering the short story in second person. It can easily be concluded that the narrator is to be a teenage boy, Yunior, whom the story is centered around. Yunior is trying to win impress and win over the local girls, hoping to get sexual favors in return. Nonetheless, because of his background and culture, he knows he has to withdraw his identity in order to please a white girl or a “halfie”. In the story, it can be implied that a halfie is person of mixed ethnicity. You see the numerous scopes of this one character, all transported out by race. Diaz gives directions about meal accommodations, politeness toward the date’s parent, hygiene, and household cleanliness. Basically, these directions are administered in effects to win over the young lady. Certainly, Diaz is not afraid to assert trivial signs that disclose ethnic insolences, even if they diminish Dominican ethnicity.
Certainly, there is a power relationship of race in “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie”. Color is an immense portion of this story, and a great share of how he treats each category of lassie. Diaz describes how to interpret and react to each situation, based upon the race of the girl whom you are on a date with. He involuntarily gives different ethnicities different characteristics and expectations. For example, it seems as if the author tends to illustrate white women as rather slutty. He says, “If she’s a whitegirl you know you’ll atleast get a handjob”. This pictures white women as somewhat “easy” and promiscuous. Moreover, when the storyteller talks about the other ethnicities of women, he illustrates them as being sympathetic and imposing. “Order everything in your busted-up Spanish. Let her correct you if she’s Latina and amaze her if she’s black”. The narrator tends to treat the women differently, based solely on the meal they will eat. “If the girls from around the way take her to El Cibao for dinner. If she’s not from around the way Wendy’s will do”. This shows that the race determines the quality of the meal. If she is from around the way, take her to a more expensive place. If the girl is not, a lesser quality meal will suffice. Additionally, he infers that white women are easier to have sex with. He implies this when he says “ a whitegirl might give it up right then. Don’t stop her”. He contrasts white girls from black girls when he suggests that black women are tougher to sex. He is saying the whitegirls are the easiest to have sex with on the first night. Also, he generalizes the white females as superlative. He states, “The white ones are the ones you want the most, aren’t they, but usually the out-of-towners are black, blackgirls who grew up with ballet and Girl Scouts.” Absolutely, understanding the text is affected by the understanding of power relationships in society. The text demonstrates such a hierarchy between the races of the women. Race, in society, is certainly hierarchical. Race, in society, does not merely represent different lifestyle preferences, or cultural beliefs, values, and practices. They are power relationships, in which one group exerts a higher quality of class than another. Understanding this power relationship allow readers to interpret the “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” by Junot Diaz in a specific way. This way being how he relates the white race with quality, and all other subsequent races with lesser quality. Imagining the power pyramid, the white women would be toward the top, and all other races below it. Ironically, the story is written by someone of Dominican descent. It could be imagined that someone who envisions white women as superior to all other races would be actually of white ethnicity. Certainly, this is not the case. The case in fact is a Dominican man, originally from Santo Domingo, views white women of higher quality, and more difficult to impress, as other races. Although his vision of white women is higher, he also infers that they are somewhat slutty. Certainly, the chosen perspective serves this short story better than other perspectives. Race is very controversial, and it is embodied in the fabric of this text. Each paragraphs reveal something different about each race. He reveals a lustful white woman when he says, “A whitegirl might just give it up right then. Don’t stop her.” This allows the reader to conclude that his vision of white women is a promiscuous one. He then describes Dominican woman when he says, “A homegirl would have been yelling back at him the time unless she was shy.” Race is the major portion of this short story. To call to action, the story, “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie”, embodies the theme of race. In the selection, the author, Junot Diaz, talks about the different varieties of women, and categorizes them based on skin color. It can be concluded that the author essentially treats a girl a certain way, based on the pigment of their skin. Diaz describes what is expected to happen when in the present of each race. He has different expectations for the various races. Unquestionably, race is the most relevant perspective, as each paragraph grasps race in a specific way.

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