El Mozote

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Whitne' Blackburn
September 27th, 2012
Hist. 162: Central America
Prof. Martivon Galindo

The Tattoo Soldier: Review

The Tattooed Soldier, a novel written by Hector Tobar, tells a story of a Guatemalan immigrant by the name of Antonio Bernal, trying to make a new life in Los Angeles, California, but at the same time heal the wounds inflicted by painful memories of his murdered wife & son, Elena & Carlos. The worse of the memories is of the murderer, Sargento Guillermo Longoria, sitting on a bench eating ice-cream with a particular tattoo on his arm resembling a yellow jaguar. To escape the same fate that his family endured, Antonio got on a bus to America. Thinking this would be a kick-start to better things, an "All-American Dream" that was actually a nightmare. A bright, intelligent student back home in Guatemala city, he was reduced to an non-existent, incompetent being working remedial jobs to get by in the eyes of the affluent- the "Americanos" (pg. 10). In L.A especially, there was a lot of immigration coming from Guatemala. Common reasons for coming to America to live the "American Dream" was to escape poor sanitation, lack of economic opportunity, political instability & unnecessary persecution for being who you are. Life in Guatemala had harsher, permanent consequences compared to life in America. During this time frame,The 36-year war that engulfed Guatemala pitted the government against left-winged guerrilla groups. Imagine never really feeling comfortable in your own home, let alone in whatever type of environment you might be in, constantly looking over your shoulder to see if anybody is watching you, taking notes of your every move……. Antonio really didn't have to fear that in America, because here, he was invincible. In a place where optimism No one noticed or even cared who he was, the only thing that people thought when they looked at him was that he was "another homeless face" looking for free comfort. I see this a lot within...
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