The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Book 3, Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Yunior says there are a few final things to deal with before his “cosmic duty” as a Watcher is fulfilled. The first thing is to introduce Lola’s daughter. Yunior describes Isis as the daughter he could have had: dark-skinned, quick-witted, and mischievous, a girl La Inca calls a jurona (ferret). Isis wears three azabaches (amulets) around her neck for protection and has two god-mothers: Yunior’s mother and La Inca.
Isis’s description is very similar to the trickster persona of the mongoose in African and Caribbean legends, and La Inca calling her a ferret ties her even closer to the small animal. This suggests that Isis truly is the mongoose in human form, able to bring zafa into the de León family for good. Lola chooses to trust completely in the old Dominican beliefs as the way to keep her daughter safe.
Themes
Identity and the Dominican Experience in America Theme Icon
Art, Life, and Latinos in America Theme Icon
Free Will and Destiny Theme Icon
Story, History, and Writing Theme Icon
Love and Loss Theme Icon
Despite all the precautions that Lola has taken, Yunior knows that Isis will eventually encounter fukú in the world and dream of the man with no face. When that happens, Isis will come to Yunior looking for answers. Yunior predicts that she will knock on his door, introduce herself as Isis, the daughter of Dolores de León, and Yunior will tell Isis everything about her family. Yunior has preserved all of Oscar’s manuscripts, papers, books, games, and photos in four refrigerators in his basement so that Isis will be able to take this past and put an end to the curse for good.
As Yunior stated in the very beginning, nothing can stop fukú from the path that it wants to take, even if Lola is doing everything she can for her daughter. Yunior here mentions Lola’s full first name, Dolores (Spanish for pain), a fitting name for all the pain that Lola has faced and overcome over the course of the novel. And though the novel is preoccupied with the abundance of blank pages in history, Yunior tries to overcorrect for this by collecting as much evidence and documentation for Oscar’s life as possible. This knowledge is the only way to fight against fukú.
Themes
Identity and the Dominican Experience in America Theme Icon
Free Will and Destiny Theme Icon
Story, History, and Writing Theme Icon
Dominican American Culture, Colonialism, and Racism Theme Icon
Yet, on Yunior’s bad days, he is less hopeful that Isis will be able to overcome her family’s past. He looks at Oscar’s copy of Watchmen, a 20th century comic book featuring morally gray heroes and villains, to see that Oscar has circled the last panel. In it, Dr. Manhattan says that “Nothing ever ends.”
As much as Yunior wants the curse on the de León family (and every other Dominican family) to end, he is also very afraid that there is no way to end the curse. Especially in a world of people who are neither wholly good nor bad, there is no way to say whether any kind of end has come. People continue to live trying to make the right choice at the time.
Themes
Art, Life, and Latinos in America Theme Icon
Free Will and Destiny Theme Icon
Story, History, and Writing Theme Icon