Junot Díaz

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Drown can help.


The protagonist and narrator of Drown, Yunior is several years out of high school and still living with his mother in the small apartment in Edison, New Jersey in which he grew up. Yunior… read analysis of Yunior

Yunior’s Mother

Yunior and his mother live together in a small apartment in Edison, New Jersey. Since Yunior’s father has been absent for much of his life, Yunior’s mother is the center of his world. Although the… read analysis of Yunior’s Mother


Yunior’s childhood best friend and early partner in crime. Beto is a natural leader whose swagger, strength, and risk-taking made him one of Yunior’s earliest male role models. He and Yunior spent lots of time… read analysis of Beto

Yunior’s Father

After leaving Yunior and his mother, Yunior’s father now lives in Florida with one of his many girlfriends. He is a complex source of resentment for Yunior, who spent much of his childhood… read analysis of Yunior’s Father

The Teacher

One of Yunior’s teachers in high school who made the class watch space shuttle launches. The teacher would explain to the students that their own success as children was much like that of the… read analysis of The Teacher
Get the entire Drown LitChart as a printable PDF.
Drown PDF
Minor Characters
One of Yunior’s present-day friends. A violent and habitual drunk, Alex often purposefully antagonizes and bullies gay men at the local gay bar after a night of drinking with Yunior and Danny.
The Recruiter
the crass, red-headed military recruiter who sometimes watches Yunior run behind his apartment. Although Yunior once turned the recruiter down, he silently wishes that the recruiter would return and give Yunior the opportunity to leave New Jersey once and for all.
Yunior’s other present-day friend.