Raw: Novel and Brett

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  • Topic: Novel, Fiction, Prologue
  • Pages : 3 (1030 words )
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  • Published : August 13, 2008
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Raw Essay

Institutions can have positive and negative effects that can alter and individual's perceptions, judgment and values. "Raw" by Scott Monk, "Hard Rock" by Etheridge Knight and "Dangerous Minds" by John N. Smith help communicate an understanding of how such institutions can reform an individual.

The novel "Raw" written by Scott Monk, is simple in style but introduces interesting and an acceptable insight to the concept of "the institution and the individual experience". Brett Dalton resembles a highly wrought, reactionary character who challenged or feels confronted by structures of authority or control.

Using Brett as the protagonist, Monk opens the novel with a prologue that describes Brett as delinquent and confused teenager who refuses to take responsibility for his own actions. His intolerance leads him to committing a crime - breaking him into a bottle shop; this explains why he is in the institution called the "farm", which can be described as a "half-way house" with between no security and maximum security. This institution accommodates troubled teenagers, in which it is their second chance to become better individuals. Throughout the novel Brett is symbolized as the troubled teenager who overcomes his ignorance.

On the farm, Brett meets the caretaker Sam, who is symbolized not only as a role model but also the cause of Brett's positive change. Sam respects each individual equally and believes everybody deserves a second chance, but Brett, at the beginning does not tolerate anyone, especially people with authority – "they are the enemy, and you never get friendly with the enemy". This demonstrates Brett's attitudes and protest to the institution.

As a caretaker, Sam reiterates to Brett at the beginning, "just remember, Brett: only you can change your life". He implies that the power to change lives within the individual. Further on in the novel, Brett is still of concern and Sam reaches out to try and help. "Don’t shut me out,...
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