In his essay, “The Money,” Junot Diaz shares a brief story about a time when his home in New Jersey was burglarized. Expecting to read an article about corruption in Washington or something similar, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with an anecdote about the values and quick thinking of a twelve-year-old after his return from a family road trip.
Upon opening the link, my initial expectation was immediately ruled out by the photo presented before the text, and was replaced by the belief that the passage to come would involve a thief snatching a purse from a woman. The image certainly played a large role in guiding my understanding of the passage.
As expected, Diaz’s account contained the basic elements of a story: exposition, climax, resolution, etc. The only unexpected elements I encountered were the slang and vulgarity Diaz employed throughout the piece; since his essay was published by a major publication, my conventional “ass” wasn’t expecting to read some of the words I did.
Diaz does not seem to have a specific target for this piece, other than the readers of the New Yorker. It can be argued that this piece was written to inform the non-Dominican demographic about Dominican values: loyalty and integrity. Similarly, it would not be unreasonable to assume that Diaz wrote this essay simply to entertain anyone who came across it. Regardless of Diaz’s intent, the essay contained numerous effective elements of both a culturally informative piece and an entertaining narrative.
Midway through the essay, it is evident that Diaz’s morality is far more developed than his peers and those in his neighborhood. This is proven by his inability to even look at the “forbidden stash.” Of course, this may have been added to the essay by Diaz to attempt to seduce his readers into believing his righteousness; however, since there doesn’t seem to be a clear objective for him writing this piece, I will assume that the elements to Diaz’s story are factual.