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The storyline “How to Date a Brown Girl” is a short story written by Junot Diaz that is told in the second person. A narrator is a young man who gives the reader tips on dating women from various social backgrounds and ethnic groups. He is not only listening to the readers, but he is still counseling himself. The author employs the second-person viewpoint to create a dating manual from the eyes of a young character. It is a realistic solution and it contains authoritative guidance. This method is often intended to transform the readers into characters. Any of the suggestion, though, is based on assumptions. From this perspective, the reader gets to understand how and why men’s mannerisms change when relating to ladies from different ethnic groups and social class. The narrator sounds sure and experienced in matters dating. Even though he comes from the ghetto, he is not terrified by a woman’s race or social status. He seems to be armed knowledge-wise to date any woman.
The perspective is tactful; the society has always presented men as authoritative figures. Readers get an inner view of the things men do create a lasting impression. From the narrative, social status is important to women when dating. For that, the narrator strives to present himself as a middle-class citizen even though they are poor. One of the prime rules of dating is honesty. However, due to fear of rejection, the narrator conceals his family’s status. Even before informing the readers about the ethnic backgrounds of the girls, he hides the government cheese from the refrigerator. He gets rid of all evidence that could sell him out, including family photos. Lastly, he instructs that the washrooms should be clean, and one should be clean and neat.
The narrator also informs the readers that during dating one must even impress the girl’s family. Apart from looks, one must seem learned and sharp. This evident when the narrator says that the directions were written in his best handwriting. When he meets the girl’s mother, he runs his hand through his hair just like the white boys. This is because he wants to present himself as a cool person. According to the narrator, it is all about expressions that create good impressions. Although the narrator is a young high school student, he speaks with the confidence of a man who has been through two dating lifetimes. He manipulates not only girls of his age but also their parents and fellow men. Depending on the girl’s social status and ethnic group, he knows the right restaurant to take her and in which dialect he should converse using. The manual emphasizes the importance of making calculated moves. This enables the narrator to know the possible reactions by the ladies when he utters certain sentiments or act in a specific manner.
When in the presence of a woman, men risk being embarrassed by their fellow men. This happens especially when the other man is physically stronger, immature or has esteem issues. Therefore, it is essential to know how to handle such situations. The narrator comes out as an emotionally intelligent individual by preparing himself mentally not to engage Howie if he runs into him. In that case, silence would be golden because he would be beaten up if a confrontation between them emerged. Yunior can already tell the reaction that the different women would have when they encounter Howie and his dogs. The ability to anticipate events is essential for a man to flourish in a relationship.
Considering that his advice is about dating women who are almost his age, this narrative is suitable for boys his age. He highlights stereotypes, which are partially valid, that relate to intimacy expectations that men should have when dating women from different races. It could be easy to think of him as a sexist or racist because of his stereotypical nature. Some of the stereotypes are that black girls are amazed by Spanish men, and halfies think that blacks mistreat them. On the other hand, local girls would rarely get intimate with boys from their neighborhood while white girls would make the first move and give it up on the first day. Yunior informs readers that girls like to be appreciated; they should be told that their skin, hair and lips are loved and adorable. This is more of a tale about how to manipulate a girl rather than dating, and his stereotypes could also lead to disappointment. All in all, his confidence and self-assurance are something to reckon with.
Majority of the myths from this “How to Date a Brown girl” arise from stereotypes. The narrator is a young boy who has a lot of information about dating. One of the questions that may arise is if the boy has had sexual experiences with women from all the races he advises readers. For instance, he could have gotten the information from his peers, older men or even from women. Myths could be true or false, and their believability depends on readers intellect.
Yunior relays myths about the physique of women from different races. He generalizes that black girls have good body shapes and features while halfies do not like some features of their bodies like their breasts. According to the narrator, black girls would not allow anyone to touch them though they have a good shape. Halfies are presented as attention seekers by the way they laugh. They are also disturbed by the fact that only black and Spanish men ask them out. As compared to Black girls, halfies have low self-esteem when it comes to dating. On the other hand, the narrator does not give a general myth about the white girl. He notifies the readers that a fraction of them are easy to get.
Government cheese plays a significant role in myth-making. Through it, readers get to know the women’s personalities and the impact the cheese will have on the Yunior’s dating adventures. It is a sign of poverty and poor social welfare. Hiding cheese implies that he has self-esteem issues. Concealing his identity taints the picture of relationships. It creates a perception that women are materialistic beings. Another myth he communicates is that men should focus on dating white girls or out-of-towners who are mostly black. This is because they are wealthy and possess many cars in their driveways; which could not be the case. It raises questions about this manual; why do money, race and societal status influence dating? Does the topic of the narrative resonate with its contents?
Davis, carol. "How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie." (2013). 21 11 2017. <https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/how-does-main-character-how-date-brown-girl-by-380286>.
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