Fiesta 1980

662 Words3 Pages
Junot Diaz's short story “Fiesta, 1980” gives an insight into the everyday life of a lower class family, a family with a troubled young boy, Yunior and a strong, abusive father, Papi. The conflict, man vs. man is one of the central themes of this story. This theme is portrayed through the conflicts between Papi and his son. Papi asserts his dominance in what can be considered unfashionable ways. Unconsciously, every action Papi makes yields negative reactions for his family. Yunior simply yearns for a tighter bond with his father, but knows-just like many other members of his family-Papi’s outlandish ways hurts him. As the story unfolds it becomes obvious that the conflicts between Papi and himself-along with conflicts between Yunior and himself-affect not only them as individuals, but their family as a whole.
From the beginning of the story it’s very clear what type of man Papi is. When he arrives home, he goes to “wash off the evidence quick” (150) because he was probably with the Puerto Rican woman, Yunior speaks of. That one moment showed the adulterous side of Papi. This is a clear cut conflict. (Man vs. Man) In a sense he shows respect by going to washing himself off in the presence of family, but the manner in which he shows his respect cancels everything out. His respect is almost in vain. Papi struggles with being his poor self. He does not like the life he lives. Papi wants to be impressive to people. He went out and brought a VW van, knowing they could not afford one, “new or used” (173) All of Papi’s actions influence the other characters within the story. He had begun to bring the children around the Puerto Rican woman he was having an affair with. Eventually his cheating becomes normal and something that does not s...

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... drives Yunior into seclusion. The story written about his father was a cry for help, Yunior took that opportunity to show someone who his father really was, and sadly he was not believed and was forced to write a different story in school. It seems as if Yunior cannot decide to love his father or stand up to him.
Yunior struggles with personal acceptance, due to his father not completely accepting him. Papi struggles with being the head of a lower class family. Both of their personal conflicts with themselves and their conflicts with each other set the theme of “Fiesta, 1980.” Junot Diaz depicted a scenario a plethora of individuals know all too well. Both Yunior and Papi love each other, both have strange ways of showing it. The conflict of Man vs. man within this story shows that no matter the age, an internal struggle can greatly affect the people around you.
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