Syllabus: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Book Club, Day 1
April 30, 2009
Book Club Members: Rachel Sabey, Marrisa Scott, Austin Daniels

Today’s Focus Question:
How does Diaz represent pride and shame, fear and love in Oscars conflicting desires?

Opening activity:
Read Lyrics to Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis and research about Compulsive Overeating disorders. Link back to Oscar and the focus question.

Club Discussion Questions:
1. How does Oscar being in love with Ana accentuate pride, shame, fear, and love? (pg. 47)
2. How does Oscars Binge eating represent his conflicting desires? (pg. 25)
3. How does Oscar represent all of the normal people in the world…you?
4. In what ways does Diaz represent fear of change?
5. How are Lola and Oscar similar in their actions? Different?
6. Does Oscars “betrayal” to Lola in the end bring them closer or tear them apart?(69)
7. Oscar is a very emotional male, what does this represent?
8. Lola and Oscar seem very close, how do you think their mom’s cancer has made this possible? Does their mom beating them draw them together?
9. Does their Mom love them or not? If she does how is that represented by conflict?
10. How are Lola and Oscar reflected in their mom?
11. How did the madre’s past influence how she is as a mother?

Closing activity: Research Dominican art and culture and talk about how this does or does not represent Oscar his family and the focus question.
One good website!

Syllabus: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Book Club, Day 2
May 1, 2009

Book Club Members: Marissa Scott, Rachel Sabey, & Austin Daniels

Today’s Focus Question: How have the many experiences dealing with Oscar and his families past shaped their unique personalities and what will ultimately fill their needs for fulfillment?

Opening Focus Activity (10-15 minutes):

Look up the lyrics of “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Decide which character specifically you think connects to the main theme of this song the most.

Club Discussion Questions (20-30 minutes):
  1. My favorite quote in the book is: “Know that in this world, there’s somebody who will always love you” (pg32) Relate this to the current reading in the novel.
  2. What genre would you consider the book up to this point?
  3. What is the biggest conflict and how is it resolved?
  4. How is Oscar’s way of trying to find love like how the typical person of the culture found love?
  5. Do you believe in fuku and do you think Oscar really does believe in fuku?
  6. Miramax has bought the movie rights for Díaz’s novel. If you were the producer of this film, what actors would you choose to play the various characters? How would you describe the personalities of Díaz’s characters to the actors so they come across authentically and as true to the author’s intent?
  7. How would the novel have been different if Díaz had stopped to provide English translations at every turn?
  8. We know Oscar is destined to die through the title of the novel, how do you think this will happen. Does he reveal this through the title to create suspense?

Closing Activity/Extension (5-10 minutes):

Visit and/or to see if these interviews give you a greater insight into the novel and why Diaz wrote it the way he did.