Study Guide

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Allusions

By Junot Díaz

Allusions

Literary and Philosophical References

  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (1.preface.3 and throughout)
  • Lloyd Alexander, The Chronicles of Prydain (1.preface.3)
  • T.H. White, The Once and Future King (1.preface.3)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (1.preface.4)
  • Stephen King, The Stand (1.1.1.5 and throughout)
  • Edgar Rice Burrough's Martian novels (1.1.1.8, 2.5.1.14)
  • Stephen King (1.1.1.21, 1.1.2.23)
  • Tom Swift Series (1.1.2.3)
  • H.P. Lovecraft (1.1.2.3, 2.5.8.26)
  • H.G. Wells (1.1.2.3)
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs (1.1.2.3)
  • Robert E. Howard (1.1.2.3)
  • Lloyd Alexander (1.1.2.3)
  • Frank Herbert (1.1.2.3, 1.4.1.167)
  • Isaac Asimov (1.1.2.3, 1.4.1.167)
  • Ben Bova (1.1.2.3)
  • Robert A. Heinlein (1.1.2.3, 1.4.1.167)
  • E.E. "Doc" Smith (1.1.2.3, 2.6.1.21, 3.final letter.2)
  • Olaf Stapledon (1.1.2.3)
  • Frank Herbert, Dune (1.1.2.3 and throughout)
  • A.E. van Vogt, Slan (1.1.2.3)
  • Gordon R. Dickson, The Childe Cycle (1.1.2.3)
  • E.E. "Doc" Smith, Lensman Series (1.1.2.3)
  • Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams, Danny Dunn Series (1.1.2.3)
  • J.R.R Tolkein (1.1.2.4)
  • Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Dragonlance Series (1.1.2.4)
  • John Wyndham (1.1.2.4)
  • John Christopher (1.1.2.4)
  • Daniel Clowes (1.1.3.4)
  • H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (1.1.3.5)
  • Henry Miller, Sexus (1.1.4.1)
  • Octavia E. Butler, Clay's Ark (1.1.5.4)
  • Andre Norton (1.1.6.36)
  • Richard Adams, Watership Down (1.2.1.2)
  • Jean Craighead, My Side of the Mountain (1.2.1.14)
  • Shelia Burnford, The Incredible Journey (1.2.1.14)
  • Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1.2.1.40)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Series (1.2.1.79)
  • The Story of Lot's Wife (1.2.1.56)
  • Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies (1.3.3.2)
  • Stephen King, It (1.3.3.2)
  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1.3.3.2, 1.3.8.12, 1.4.1.14)
  • Miguel de Cervantes (1.3.3.9)
  • Alexandre Dumas (1.3.3.12)
  • Jacob and the Angel (1.3.3.17, 1.3.21.8)
  • Apollo (1.3.5.1)
  • Mithra (1.3.5.1)
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, The Feast of the Goat (1.3.5.1)
  • William Butler Yeats, "Easter, 1916" (1.3.5.9, 1.3.21.25)
  • Edouard Glissant (1.3.5.9)
  • Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1.3.6.1)
  • Ovid (1.3.6.8)
  • Toni Morrison (1.3.6.8)
  • Stanley Crouch (1.3.6.8)
  • Salman Rushdie (1.3.6.8)
  • Shiva (1.3.7.1)
  • Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast Series (1.3.7.31)
  • Homer, Odyssey (1.3.7.38)
  • Whore of Babylon (1.3.7.38)
  • Elysium (1.3.7.40)
  • Helen of Troy (1.3.8.11)
  • Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac (1.3.8.12)
  • Moses (1.3.8.41)
  • King James Bible (1.3.8.47)
  • Genesis (1.3.8.47)
  • House of Atreus (1.3.19.1)
  • Hercules (1.3.21.1, 1.4.1.20)
  • Oscar Wilde (1.4.1.88)
  • John Singer Sargent, Madame X (1.4.1.94)
  • La Jablesse (1.4.1.96 and throughout)
  • Alice Walker (1.4.1.105)
  • Beelzebub (1.4.1.111)
  • Ursula Le Guin (1.4.1.153)
  • Maenad (1.4.1.164)
  • Samuel Delany (1.4.1.167)
  • Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (2.5.1.7)
  • Henry Herbert Goddard (2.5.1.7)
  • Rapunzel (2.5.1.9)
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2.5.1.11)
  • Dionysius (2.5.3.2)
  • Mario Vargas Llosa (2.5.8.20)
  • Dominic Covey, The Burning Lands (2.5.12.6)
  • Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (2.6.3.5)
  • Octavia Butler (2.6.4.1)
  • The Fates (2.6.6.2)
  • Paulo Coelho (2.6.6.2)
  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet (2.6.14.21)
  • C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia (2.6.18.2)
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (3.final letter.4)

Historical References

  • Christopher Columbus (1.preface.1 and throughout)
  • Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina (1.preface.3 and throughout)
  • John F. Kennedy (1.preface.3)
  • Mobutu Sésé Seko (1.preface.3)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson (1.preface.3)
  • Lee Harvey Oswald (1.preface.3)
  • Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt (1.preface.3)
  • Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (1.preface.3)
  • Lauren Bessette (1.preface.3)
  • Angel Morales (1.1.1.5)
  • Ramfis Trujillo (1.1.1.5, 1.3.6.13)
  • Helen Keller (1.2.1.10)
  • Hyptía of Alexandria (1.3.1.1 and throughout)
  • Harry Houdini (1.3.2.10)
  • Lola Montez (1.3.3.12)
  • Joaquín Amparo Balaguer Ricardo (1.3.5.1, 1.3.14.2, 2.5.1.7)
  • Jesús Galíndez (1.3.6.8 and throughout)
  • Julius Caesar (1.3.6.8, 2.6.12.title, 3.7.2.17)
  • George Foreman (1.3.6.8)
  • Muhammad Ali (1.3.6.8)
  • Felix Bernardino (1.3.6.8)
  • Ramon Emeterio Betances y Alacán (1.3.6.9)
  • Jack the Ripper (1.3.7.1)
  • Strom Thurmond (1.3.7.5)
  • Hipólito Mejía (1.3.7.40)
  • Mickey Mantle (1.3.7.40)
  • Roger Maris (1.3.7.40)
  • Juan Marichal (1.3.7.40)
  • Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán (1.3.7.40)
  • Richard Nixon (1.3.7.40)
  • Archimedes (1.3.7.40)
  • Johnny Abbes García (1.3.7.40 and throughout)
  • Rómulo Betancourt (1.3.7.40)
  • François "Papa Doc" Duvalier (1.3.7.40)
  • Atahualpa (1.3.8.2)
  • Felix Wenceslao Bernardino (1.3.8.4)
  • Angel Morales (1.3.8.4)
  • Minerva Bernadino (1.3.8.4)
  • Fulgencio Batista (1.3.8.10)
  • Fidel Castro (1.3.8.10)
  • Allen Dulles (1.3.8.10)
  • Peter Abelard (1.3.12.4)
  • Le Corbusier (1.3.18.1)
  • John Merrick or Joseph Carey Merrick (1.3.18.9, 2.6.19.5)
  • Ashurbanipal (1.3.18.38)
  • Esarhaddon (1.3.18.38)
  • Antonio de la Maza (1.3.20.19)
  • The Mirabal Sisters (1.3.21.1, 2.5.8.20)
  • Awilda (1.4.1.45)
  • Hatüey (2.5.1.4)
  • Ho Chi Minh (2.5.1.4)
  • Máximo Gómez (2.5.1.4)
  • Crazy Horse (2.5.1.4)
  • Fernando Ortíz (2.5.1.6)
  • Madame Curie (2.5.1.11)
  • Leon Trotsky (2.5.3.3)
  • Adolf Hitler (2.5.3.3)
  • Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (2.5.8.10)
  • Anacaona (2.5.8.20)
  • La Malinche (2.5.8.20)
  • Bartolomé de las Casas (2.5.8.20)
  • Juan Bosch (2.8.10.8)
  • Juan Isidro Jiménes Grullón (2.8.10.8)
  • Ronald Reagan (2.6.1.1)
  • Jessie George Conrad (2.6.2.3)
  • King Juan Carlos of Spain (2.6.3.1)

Pop Culture References

  • Darkseid (1.preface.3, preface.4)
  • The Watchers (1.preface.3 and throughout)
  • Marilyn Monroe (1.preface.3)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1.preface.12)
  • Porfirio Rubirosa (1.1.1.5, 1.3.8.5)
  • María Montez (1.1.1.5, 1.3.3.12)
  • Barbara Hutton (1.1.1.5)
  • Doris Duke (1.1.1.5)
  • Danielle Darriex (1.1.1.5)
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor (1.1.1.5)
  • Star Trek (1.1.1.9 and throughout)
  • Shazam (1.1.1.9, 1.3.5.15)
  • Herculoids (1.1.1.11)
  • Space Ghost (1.1.1.11)
  • Planet of the Apes (1.1.1.16, 2.5.12.6, 2.6.16.3)
  • Land of the Lost (1.1.1.16)
  • Isis (1.1.1.20)
  • Ill Will Records (1.1.1.21)
  • Héctor Lavoe (1.1.1.21, 1.3.7.40)
  • White Trash: Moronic Inferno (1.1.2.title)
  • Charles Mingus (1.1.2.2)
  • Ultraman (1.1.2.3)
  • Stan Lee (1.1.2.3)
  • Star Wars (1.1.2.3 and throughout)
  • Spider-Man (1.1.2.3, 1.3.5.16)
  • Run Run Shaw (1.1.2.3)
  • X-Men (1.1.2.3, 1.3.6.8)
  • Doctor Who (1.1.2.4, 1.4.1.88, 2.6.2.3)
  • Blake's 7 (1.1.2.4)
  • Robotech (1.1.2.4)
  • Gamma World (1.1.2.4)
  • Dragon Magazine (1.1.2.18)
  • Doc Savage (1.1.2.23)
  • Beto Hernández (1.1.3.4)
  • Robert Durán (1.1.3.9)
  • Los Brothers Hernández (1.1.3.19)
  • Frank Miller (1.1.3.19)
  • Alan Moore (1.1.3.19)
  • Zardoz (1.1.3.19)
  • Virus (1.1.3.19, 2.6.21.3)
  • Olivia Hussey (1.1.3.19)
  • Romeo and Juliet (1.1.3.19, 1.4.1.99)
  • New Order (1.1.5.4)
  • Manhunter (1.1.5.23)
  • Gary Gygax (1.1.6.37)
  • Robotech Macross http://www.robotech.com/ (1.1.6.38)
  • Alan Moore, Miracleman (1.1.6.42)
  • Akira (1.1.6.51 and throughout)
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees (1.2.1.13)
  • Blacula (1.2.1.13)
  • Big Blue Marble (1.2.1.14)
  • The Sound of Music (1.2.1.14)
  • Bon Jovi (1.2.1.14)
  • Wonder Woman (1.2.1.14)
  • Robert Smith (1.2.1.14)
  • The Smiths (1.2.1.27)
  • Sisters of Mercy (1.2.1.27)
  • Three's Company (1.2.1.54)
  • Wbat's Happening (1.2.1.54)
  • The Jeffersons (1.2.1.54)
  • Superman (1.3.3.3, 1.3.18.11)
  • Jean Pierre Aumont (1.3.3.12)
  • Arabian Nights (1.3.3.12)
  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1.3.3.12)
  • Cobra Woman (1.3.3.12)
  • Siren of Atlantis (1.3.3.12)
  • Jennifer Lopez (1.3.3.12)
  • Roman Polanski (1.3.5.9)
  • Luba (1.3.5.9, 2.6.7.1)
  • Jack Kirby (1.3.5.9)
  • The Green Lantern (1.3.5.15, 1.4.1.64)
  • The Fantastic Four (1.3.6.8)
  • Galacuts (1.3.6.8)
  • The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (1.3.6.8)
  • Teen Titans (1.3.6.8)
  • Deathstroke (1.3.6.8)
  • Sam Viviano (1.3.6.8)
  • Sergio Aragonés (1.3.6.8)
  • Kim Novak (1.3.7.1)
  • The Exorcist (1.3.7.6)
  • P. Diddy (1.3.7.40)
  • The Rat Pack (1.3.8.2)
  • Have Gun—Will Travel (1.3.8.4)
  • Elvis Presley (1.3.15.6 and throughout)
  • Dark Knight Returns (1.3.18.11)
  • Tony Montana (1.3.20.17)
  • John Woo (1.3.20.17)
  • Apokolips (1.4.1.14)
  • Biggie Smalls (1.4.1.22)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1.4.1.30)
  • The Beyonder (1.4.1.31)
  • Unus the Untouchable (1.4.1.31, 3.7.2.13)
  • This Island Earth (1.4.1.45)
  • Appleseed (1.4.1.45)
  • Project A (1.4.1.45)
  • Master Killer in Shaolin Temple (1.4.1.57)
  • Jabba the Hut (1.4.1.63)
  • Joy Division (1.4.1.98)
  • Battle of the Planets (1.4.1.98)
  • Ghost (1.4.1.112)
  • Hardware (1.4.1.112)
  • Lou Reed (1.4.1.118)
  • SDF-1 (1.4.1.122)
  • Point Blank (2.5.1.7)
  • Twilight Zone (2.5.3.1)
  • From Hell (2.5.3.2)
  • Friday the 13th (2.5.3.2)
  • Hannibal Lector (2.5.8.20)
  • Kinito Méndez (2.5.12.6)
  • Outland (2.5.12.6)
  • Judge Dredd (2.5.12.6)
  • Star Blazers (2.6.1.1)
  • Captain Harlock (2.6.1.1)
  • Terminator 2 (2.6.1.1)
  • Mork & Mindy (2.6.1.3)
  • Neil Gaiman, The Sandman (2.6.1.6)
  • Daniel Clowes, Eightball (2.6.1.6)
  • Dana Plato (2.6.1.10)
  • Willie Colón (2.6.1.14)
  • What If (2.6.2.2)
  • Xica da Silva (2.6.5.1)
  • Grandpa Simpson (2.6.6.16)
  • The Matrix (2.6.7.3)
  • Ana Obregón (2.6.11.5)
  • Solomon Grod (2.6.14.6 and throughout)
  • Gorilla Grundy (2.6.14.6 and throughout)
  • Lee Van Cleef (2.6.14.9)
  • John Kricfalusi (2.6.14.16)
  • Jim Kelly (2.6.14.28)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (2.6.16.title)
  • Captain Marvel a.k.a. Billy Batson (afterword.3)