Drown is a compilation of short stories written by Junot Diaz. Throughout the book there is a common narrator, Yunior, who tells his stories with jumps around from one time period in his life to the next. The stories in the book cover many different themes, including drugs, latin itendity, family, and violence. The characters in the stories can relate to many young adults.
In the story Yisrael, Yunior and Rafa are fairly hateful towards a kid named Ysrael, who, according to the narrative, was bitten on the face by a pig when he was a baby. Yunior and Rafa first hear about Ysrael when they are told a story abou tit. . The story about Ysrael is that when he was a baby a pig bit him on the face. They find out about Ysrael, because a boy told them a story about him. One day the two decide to go and look for Ysrael. Once they find him their first attempt is unsuccessful. Yunio begins to befriend Ysrael and talk with him. He finds they share similar interests and both have family in the United States. Ysrael tells Ynior that he will be cured when his family has enough money and can send him to the States for treatment, similar to what Yuior’s father told Ynior and Rafa.
Rafa finds this befriending between Yunior and Ysrael as a chance to see what is under the mask. Initially, they had thought that seeing what is under the mast would give them a sense of accomplishment, but in actuality it made them feel sick. The character of Ysrael fits in to the narrative of an immigrant arriving in a new country. After years of being around people of similar backgrounds and experiences, when you move to a new country you are exposed to new things that you are not used to, and it can be a shock to your system. Seeing someone that looked like Ysrael was a shock to Yunior and Rafa, as they had never seen someone that looked like that before. Yunior and Rafa later, as you see in the stories that follow, were immigrants to the States experiencing and seeing new things they didn’t see or experience in their home country, the Dominican Republic, and so comfort zones were exited then as well.