Narratives of resisting the Trujillo regime are so prevalent in Dominican-American literature that it seems Dominican-American authors must write about Trujillo to be deemed authentically Dominican-American. Within these Trujillo narratives there seems to be two main ways to talk about resistance. “The resistance,” an organized entity that actively and consciously opposes the Trujillo regime, can be seen in stories like those told about the Mirabal sisters. The other resistance narrates how characters capitalize on opportunities to disrupt business or political functions, thus disrupting the Trujillo machine. This resistance works much like Ben Highmore's explanation of de Certeau's resistance in that “it limits flows and dissipates energies” (104). Characters from the socio-economic lower-class typically use this type of resistance because they are not recognized by nor allowed direct access to the regime. My thesis focuses on the latter type of resistance through my study of Angie Cruz's Let It Rain Coffee and Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Both authors narrate instances of unrecognized resistance against Trujillo, but they also articulate modern resistance to economic, racial, and gender pressures, such as materialism and hyper-masculinity, through Trujillo narratives. While these narratives create a space for Dominican-Americans of different gender, class, and race, they also create Trujillo as a marker of Dominican literature, perpetuating the idea of Trujillo as inextricably connected to Dominican identity and obfuscating more complex issues of race and gender in Dominican culture.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Mortensen, Kelsy Ann, "De-Centering the Dictator: Trujillo Narratives and Articulating Resistance in Angie Cruz's Let It Rain Coffee and Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 3220.
Angie Cruz, Junot Díaz, Rafael Trujillo, social resistance, Dominican-American