Drown

by

Junot Díaz

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead edition of Drown published in 1996.
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Drown Quotes

He's a pato now but two years ago we were friends and he would walk into the apartment without knocking, his heavy voice rousing my mother from the Spanish of her room and drawing me up from the basement, a voice that crackled and made you think of uncles or grandfathers.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), Yunior’s Mother, Beto
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

The heat in the apartments was like something heavy that had come inside to die. Families arranged on their porches, the glow from their TVs washing blue against the brick. From my family apartment, you could smell the pear trees that had been planted years ago…

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker)
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

I can still go far without coming up. While everything above is loud and bright, everything below is whispers.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Pool
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

He hated when I knew something he didn't. He put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me under. He was wearing a cross and cutoff jeans. He was stronger than me and held me down until water flooded my nose and throat. Even then I didn't tell him; he thought I didn't read, not even dictionaries.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), Beto
Related Symbols: The Pool
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

She has discovered the secret to silence: pouring café without a splash, walking between rooms as if gliding on a cushion of felt, crying without a sound. You have traveled to the East and learned many secret things, I've told her. You're like a shadow warrior.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), Yunior’s Mother
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

Both of us had seen bad shoplifters at work. All grab and run, nothing smooth about them. Not us. We idled out of the stores slow, like a fat seventies car.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), Beto
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

“They don’t send you to jail for shoplifting. They just turn you over to your old man.”

Related Characters: Beto (speaker), Yunior, Yunior’s Father
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

These days my guts feel loose and cold and I want to be away from here. He won’t have to show me his Desert Eagle, or flash the photos of skinny Filipino girls sucking dick. He’ll only have to smile and name the place and I’ll listen.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), The Recruiter
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

He knew a lot of folks I didn't—a messed-up black kid from Madison Park, two brothers who were into that N.Y. club scene, who spent money on platform shoes and leather backpacks. I'd leave a message with his parents and then watch some more TV. The next day he’d be out at the bus stop, too busy smoking a cigarette to say much about the day before.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), Beto
Related Symbols: Television
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

Mostly I stayed in the basement, terrified that I would end up abnormal, a fucking pato, but he was my best friend and back then that mattered to me more than anything.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), Beto
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:

After I was done, he laid his head in my lap. I wasn’t asleep or awake but caught somewhere in between, rocking slowly back and forth the way surf holds junk against the shore, rolling it over and over.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), Beto
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:

One teacher, whose family had two grammar schools named after it, compared us to the shuttles. A few of you are going to make it. Those are the orbiters. But the majority of you are just going to burn out. Going nowhere. He dropped his hand onto the desk. I could already see myself losing altitude, fading, the earth spread out beneath me, hard and bright.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker), The Teacher
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

The actors throw themselves around, passionate, but their words are plain and deliberate. It’s hard to imagine anybody going through life this way.

Related Characters: Yunior (speaker)
Related Symbols: Television
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.