Alma Summary & Study Guide

Junot Díaz
This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Alma.
This section contains 415 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Alma Summary & Study Guide Description

Alma Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Alma by Junot Díaz.

The following version of this story was used to create this study guide: Diaz, Juno. “Alma.” This is How You Lose Her. New York: Riverhead Books, 2012. 47-50. Print.

“Alma” takes place at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The narration is written in the second person present tense from the perspective of Yunior, a student at Rutgers. Yunior was born in the Dominican Republic, but his family moved to the United States when he was a child. Yunior is dating a fellow student named Alma. Alma is a student as Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts. Alma is of Dominican heritage but was born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey. She wanted to go to either New York University or Columbia University for college, but she was not accepted to either of those schools, so she went to Rutgers instead.

Yunior is highly attracted to Alma for her physical beauty, but he does not appear to connect with Alma on any level other than physical. Alma enjoys painting, and although Yunior does not tell her, he believes her paintings are terrible. Alma is highly invested in creating a stronger connection between herself and her Dominican heritage. Meanwhile, Yunior shows no interest in doing so and even seems to disdain his childhood in the Dominican Republic. Yunior comments in the narration that he and Alma have highly divergent interests. Yunior likes reading and cooking, while Alma’s hobbies include art and driving. Yunior is interested in current political events while Alma thoroughly dislikes politics. Yunior and Alma appear to make no effort to adopt one another’s interests.

The basis for Alma and Yunior’s relationship is sexual. Yunior states that Alma is the most sexually adventurous person he has ever dated, and Yunior enjoys bragging to his friends about his and Alma’s sex life together. However, the only description that Yunior gives of their sex is somewhat awkward and uncomfortable from Yunior’s point of view. Regardless, Yunior enjoys his generally shallow relationship with Alma, but one day, Alma finds Yunior’s private journal and reads it. She discovers from its entries that Yunior has been having a sexual relationship with a student named Laxmi. Alma waits with the journal on the stoop of Yunior’s apartment building. When Yunior arrives and sees the journal, he knows that his deceit has been discovered. However, he attempts to deny Alma’s accusations. Yunior and Alma’s relationship thusly ends.

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This section contains 415 words
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