Joey D’Andre Safari Ross Engl 101 Sec 105 11 Oct 2011 How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie An instruction manual on how to get a girl based on their ethnicity is what Junot Diaz wrote in the story “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie. ” One central theme in the story is the idea of stereotypes. A stereotype is a preconceived notion about someone based on an outside characteristic they posses. These generalizations come from some truth but you can’t put everyone into a specific category based on their appearance.
In this controversial story, Diaz uses the main character to talk about stereotypes and demonstrates how he treats women differently based on their race. The story shows the reader how in fact everyone does stereotype in someway or another. The author illustrates that people generalize because stereotyping is a societal norm and widely accepted as truth. The main character in this story is a teenage boy in a poor urban neighborhood. He writes the “instruction manual” to explain to others in his age group how to pick up girls.
We know that he is a teenager for a number of reasons. The way he so widely stereotypes girls shows his immaturity. The story uses the boy to portray a controversial subject that relates to a broad range of people. The way the author uses a boy relates to a larger population of people, because a boy is easier to identify with and is less serious. The choice of an adolescent makes the severity of his stereotypes more acceptable. If a man was chosen instead of a teenager the audience would be more offended because an adult in society is not supposed to act that way.
The main character has such confidence and arrogance that it persuades the reader to believe his theories. He is implying that he gets ‘the ladies’ in such a matter-of-fact tone that you have to come to believe if you follow his steps you will be as successful. The voice of the boy is consistently confident and degrading at the same time. “If she’s a white girl you know you’ll at least get a hand job. ” He implies that white girls are ‘slutty’ because she is putting herself out there for him on the first date, but gives no reasons following this statement.
Simply that because they are white he will no matter get a hand job. You can also tell through the voice of the story that the main character is of a lower class and upbringing by his jargon that he uses with his friends, “Are you still waiting on that bitch? say, Hell yeah. ” this type of voice takes credibility of what he is saying away, because you know that he is not the brightest nor classiest of boys. The voice also progresses the story as more lower class when the main character says “Call her house and when her father picks up ask if she’s there.
He’ll ask, Who is this? Hang up. He sounds like a principal or a police chief,” in the lower income neighborhoods people come to disrespect authority or fear them. This all contributes to the voice of the story giving it a whole different feel. Diaz shows the insecurity of a poor African American in the inner city. The main character in this story is ashamed of his lifestyle. In the second paragraph he begins with, “Clear the government cheese from the refrigerator. This means the main character’s family is on food stamps and welfare, and he’s ashamed for the girl to see that. He also has certain restaurants to take certain girls to in order for them not to judge him on his social status. He makes note to take down any embarrassing photos of him and his family, and to clean up his bathroom. He mentions this in the beginning of the story, making sure you know this is priority if your going to have a girl over. “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” also exposes the way the main character thinks of girls.
He is only worried about how he can make himself come off to the girl in a false pretense that will impress her. The way he hides his real identity when he hides his cheap cheese and pictures shows he is not looking for the girl to like him of accept him, just looking for a physical reward in impressing the girl. If he was looking for the girl to like him, or a relationship beyond the physical level, he would want her to like him and accept him for who he is and how he lives. He also shows that he is not secure in himself when he says “Run a hand through our hair like the whiteboys do even though the only thing that runs easily through your hair is Africa” he feels like being white would make him better and the girl would like him more. Diaz not only stereotypes in this story, but he generalizes by race and social class. The way he does this is he predicts what each girl will do or say because of the aforementioned race and social class. He implies that all girls are brought up the same way for example “A local girl may have hips and a thick ass but she won’t be quick about letting you touch. or “A halfie will tell you that her parents met in a movement” he says this so assuredly and confidently like every girl will say this and every girl does say this. The only way to predict what a girl is going to say, is by putting her into a predetermined group based on traits she has, and nobody likes being generalized with other people. We all think we are somehow different from one another. The final two paragraphs of the story define it’s entire point.
After telling you through the whole story that if you follow these steps you will get this girl, the second to last paragraph opens with “But usually it won’t work this way. ” This quote is the most important quote in the story. By saying this the author is taking away all the validity of his “how to” manual, and replacing it with a bigger underlying theme. The story now shows you how we all judge a women, or a man, from generalizations that society links with certain races and social classes.