Raw - Scott Monk Essay

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1.)“The legal and penal system gives people the opportunity to reform”. In RAW, how does the institution (The Farm) affect the individual? Is this influence positive or negative?

The novel RAW is a story about a troubled teenage boy named Brett Dalton who is sentenced to 3 months in a rehabilitation centre called The Farm. It is a home to many young crime committers such as Brett. Its main purpose is to reform the kids that are sent there. It is different from most detention centres in the regard that a lot of trust is given to the inmates. “Brett was getting really confused. What kind of detention centre was this? Inmates were allowed out on day trips. There weren’t any bars on the cells. There weren’t even cells!” (Page 37). The Farm is run in a different way, to bring a different approach to the inmates, a more friendly approach to them. The person who runs the farm is Sam, and he is very relaxed. His attitude is simply that if the inmates do not want to reform and become good people, they won’t. It is up to them to follow the set rules by Sam in order to be essentially rehabilitated by the end of their sentence. The rules, if followed, have advantages to the inmates, but if broken, not just the rule breaker suffers the consequences, all of the inmates suffer.

Brett learns a lot at his stay at The Farm, one major issue being maturity. Not all of the characters mature during the novel, one, for example being Caitlyn’s Dad. Caitlyn’s father says immature, stereotypical things about criminals like “Gutless dogs!” and “Cowards”. He also starts a fight with Brett even though he is much older than Brett. Brett being the mature one in the situation decided to be the bigger man and walk away. When Brett and Caitlyn Broke up, Brett showed a lot of maturity by saying “It’s all my fault! I’m the one to blame”.
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