“The Cheater’s Guide To Love” by Junot Díaz, is a short story that shines a light on the position of the Dominican man raised in the United States. Via the protagonist, Yunior, a dark skinned middle aged Professor, Díaz forces us to place ourselves in Yunior’s position with his use of the second person. This is particularly interesting when Yunior engages in immoral acts, namely cheating. The short story begins, “Your girl catches you cheating, (Well, actually she’s your fiancée, but hey, in a bit it so won’t matter) (Díaz 1),” which causes one to feel the anxiety that comes with being labeled an adulterer, even if only for a moment.
Díaz also calls upon the reader to consider the state of the Dominican man, beset with the ideals of his Dominician culture, and the culture of the United States. While sleeping with one of his students in Boston, the young woman becomes pregnant and Yunior begrudgingly moves her into his apartment. Though not ideal, Junior takes her in because this is what he is supposed to do according to his culture. However, in the same instance we get a taste of Yunior’s American culture when he asks if she will abort the baby.
In addition to the conflicting cultures, the doubling that takes place throughout the piece is particularly interesting. Yuniors best friend, Elvis, for instance has two families: One in the state of Boston another in the Domincian Republic and Yunior lives in between New York City and Boston. Yunior also travels between the United States and the Domincian Republic — It all feels very temporary. These actualities I believe reflect the dual identities and lack of home feeling many Latinx people living within the United States experience. If you’re in the market for a short read with layers to peel back, pick up this piece.
— Andrea Rodriguez, Blogger.
Andrea Rodriguez’s Bio
Andrea Rodriguez is a senior at Lewis University. Prior to attending Lewis, she completed her associates at the College of DuPage. Rodriguez is studying English Literature in order to pursue a career as an academic librarian. As for her interests, Andrea loves spending time with her family, being in nature, taking care of her plants, writing, cooking, and traveling when she can. Andrea also enjoys exploring unique writing styles. Some of her favorite pieces include The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid. In addition to being a fiction/poetry editor for Jet Fuel Review, Rodriguez is the editor-in-chief of Lewis Voices, and the administrative director for Sigma Tau Delta, of which she is also a member.