Junot Diaz’s “How to Date a Browngirl. Blackgirl. Whitegirl. or Halfie” seems to play into and highlight the racial stereotypes that affect the manner Americans see each other ; nevertheless. Diaz is in fact working to demo that even people who believe they understand the full extent of stereotypes. particularly work forces. find themselves subordinate to the 1s they are pigeonholing. In this narrative. Diaz shows how female stereotypes really control the actions of a males seeking familiarity.

The adult male will return to basic inherent aptitude and establish his determinations on a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or thought of a peculiar type of individual. The short narrative focuses its direction on the ultimate end of making physical familiarity with a miss. but illustrates the decidedly different classs of action necessary to take depending on what ethnicity the mark miss is. This is where Diaz proves that even by get the hanging the “predicted” behaviour of females through racial stereotypes. the male while looking to hold control of the state of affairs is really lower than the female.

The text has an about aggressive tone is used to demo that the writer clearly knows what he is speaking about in footings of misss. This tone adds serious credibleness to the writer and makes the direction all the more credible. Alternatively of utilizing phrases such as “I would urge. ” “I think. ” or “I believe. ” Diaz uses the jussive mood and says “Clear the authorities cheese from the icebox. ” “Leave yourself a reminder to acquire it out. ” and. “Hide the images of yourself with an Afro” ( Diaz 143 ) .

This forceful usage of linguistic communication is more credible and it creates a sense of power. high quality. and assurance in the reader because he is seemingly taking direction from an expert. After all. the reader utilizing these instructions is looking to maximise his opportunities of acquiring anything from a “Kiss. ” to a “Girl merely [ giving ] it up right then” ( Diaz 147 ) . Diaz first points out that the reader should be cognizant of his ain societal category and ethnicity.

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The last thing the reader wants to make is foil his opportunities of accomplishing familiarity with his day of the month by disregarding potentially awkward images or icons of a lower societal category that would non affect the miss. Such things as the ill-famed “Government cheese” or the “basket with all the crapped-on lavatory paper” decidedly want to be hidden off ( Diaz 143. 144 ) . By making these little things. the reader is seting himself at an advantage by go forthing no room for the day of the month to happen failing in him. If the day of the month can non happen anything abashing. the reader is in control of the state of affairs. Harmonizing to Casey S.

Torstenson in her article “You Don’t Know Me. ” she says “To follow the advice of this narrative will. in all likeliness. acquire the [ reader ] closer to some signifier of physical familiarity. but this familiarity will be the consequence of a carefully manipulated… feeling he creates for his day of the month. instead than the more built-in and nonsubjective truths of who he genuinely is” ( Torstenson ) . This statement means that by concealing anything potentially implying. the male has a better shooting at acquiring confidant with the miss. but that he is withstanding the age old stating that every set of parents say to their childs. “Just be yourself.

” Diaz proves my statement in this subdivision because the reader. although apparently in control of the state of affairs. is forced to pull strings it in a manner that is delighting to the miss. non to him. Diaz does non propose anyplace in the text that the reader should make what he might happen appealing. alternatively. the merely positive thing in the text for the reader is the ultimate possibility of a hook-up. If the reader manipulates a state of affairs based on stereotypes ( ie where to take the miss to dinner depends on what the colour of her tegument is ) he is low-level to the miss because he has to play his cards merely right in order to acquire what he wants.

The day of the month is in complete control because every determination the reader makes is based on what the miss will make. non what the reader wants. In making so “Diaz emphasizes the manner in which the societal forces of race and category undercut both individualism and objectivity” and do the reader subsidiary to his day of the month ( Torstenson ) . After the reader establishes his ain security. it is so his duty to fix for the eventide. Diaz establishes that the first thing to make. no affair the race of the miss is to state hullo to the female parent. Once once more. the writer instructs the reader to unwittingly give up control.

The full intent of stating hullo to the female parent is to affect her and to come across as a gentleman. Stating hullo does non profit the reader at all nor does it do his opportunities of acquiring with the miss any better. He simply says hullo to come across as person he is non. hiking his frontage. rupturing down his true character. and one time once more seting the day of the month in power. After the debut is over. the reader must take the miss to dinner. This portion of the narrative is fascinating because depending on what race the miss is determines where there is to travel.

The local misss ( Latino and black ) can be taken to El Cibao. merely so that the reader can affect them with his Spanish or give them the opportunity to rectify his Spanish. For some ground. the black miss and the brown miss are entitled to eat at a nicer dining constitution than the white misss who are suppsoed to be taken to Wendy’s. Diaz claims that the black miss will be impressed by his ability to talk Spanish. or the brown miss will hold the chance to rectify his “busted-up Spanish” ( Diaz 145 ) .

In the instance of the black miss. she. although being taken to dinner. is in control of the state of affairs because the lone ground the reader takes her to dinner at a nicer topographic point is in hopes that he can affect her. The reader let’s the stereotype that she does non talk Spanish command his determination doing insomuch as that he is non at the eating house to bask a repast. but merely to acquire one measure closer to familiarity. In the instance of the brown miss. he hopes that she will rectify him to do her feel of import and smart.

In this instance. the reader is supposed to do himself come across as unintelligent to do the miss happy. Once once more. the reader is low-level to the miss because he is non being himself and is forced to move in certain ways that are uncharacteristic of him. However. say the miss does non talk Spanish. What is the reader supposed to make so? He is non being himself and following instructions. so if the instructions are non right. the reader will be unknowing of his following move.

The reader becomes dependent on these stereotypes and wholly relies on them to work. The reader is at the will of the stereotypes. If they turn out to be false. so the reader will be lost with no way and all of his outlooks will be shattered go forthing him in less control than he already is. In the instance of the white miss. he expects that the white miss will set out much sooner than the misss of colour and will non necessitate the type of attending and clip that the coloured misss seemingly deserve. What if the stereotype is false once more?

The white miss will be unimpressed by eating at a oily fast nutrient eating house. and the reader will non acquire what he wants. As in every other case. the reader relies on the cogency of the stereotype. If it is true. so everything works out harmonizing to program. but the lone manner for the stereotype to be true is if the white miss does perfectly everything harmonizing to Diaz’s chronology of events. Diaz leaves no room for spontaneousness. Everything is scripted. However. the book is merely every bit long as the miss wants it to be. She is to the full capable of making what she wants.

The miss is in complete control of the really stereotype that the reader relies so to a great extent upon. Thus. the reader is low-level to his day of the month. Flattery is his following tool. Once the dinner is over. Diaz tells the reader to move interested in the miss and touch her gently ; about in a implicative mode. He tells the readers to state things like “I like you. ” and “ [ I ] love [ your ] hair” ( Diaz 147. 148 ) . The basic premise here is that misss will appreciate being complimented and be more willing to move more confidant with their smoothie.

However. even still. the miss is in complete control of her actions. Although the reader is courting her. in the terminal it will be her determination whether or non she decides to set out. No stereotype can foretell that event. They can offer a glance into a surface personality. but a sequence of events over the class of a twosome of hours can non physically be predicted precisely. Even so. the male will trust on a shallow construct that offers a glance into the hereafter if he feels that it has the possibility of giving enjoyable consequences.

With this idea. it is clear that the stereotypes used in the narrative are geared towards indicating out how the potency for familiarity will do work forces return to trusting upon stereotypes and that they are non really in control. but the stereotype that is controlled by the adult female is in charge. “How to Date a Browngirl. Blackgirl. Whitegirl. or Halfie” was most surely written with the purpose of demoing how the male race relies on stereotypes to tribunal adult females and how these stereotypes give the adult male a sense of security. control. and assurance.

“Diaz consciously [ provides ] stereotyped male figures for dramatic effect” in order to exemplify how. “boys discuss members of the opposite sex as animals to be used as devices for sexual gratification” ( Alford ) . However. the implicit in message in the text is that work forces rely on these stereotypes so much. that they in fact lose control of the state of affairs because it is non the adult male in control but the stereotype.

While Diaz points out the presence of stereotypes amongst adult females of different races. he clearly wants to indicate out the truth that work forces pigeonholing is a stereotype. Works Cited Alford. William R. “Sex. Race and Power. ” 2000. hypertext transfer protocol: //the-big-pic. org/drowntext. hypertext markup language. Diaz. Junot. Drown. “How to Date a Browngirl. Blackgirl. Whitegirl. or Halfie. ” New York: Riverhead Books. 1996. Torstenson. Casey S. “You Don’t Know Me. ” Florida: Switchback. 2006. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. swback. com/issues/004/You_Dont_Know_Me. shtml.


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