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In reality, what Ken passed through happens in the same conditions and within surroundings that he lives. It is notable that the world's most dangerous gangs come up from areas that are comprised of people with poor living standards. They put great effort to meet the basic needs. It is not easy to get a child who has grown up in a wealthy family or background being involved in gang life. This is because children, brought up in surroundings that have not been hit up by poverty, always have chances to be involved in things that build them rather than befriending dangerous gangs. Similarly, most of the time, they are under the protection of their parents.
Ken was taken into the correctional facility as a result of taking part in crime as a member of the illegal gangs that existed in Hawaii. Despite Claudia's positive influence in his life, ken seems to have given up. To him it is as if destiny had prepared him for the worst. He can escape his destiny that has all been shaping since his childhood with the people who acted as his protection and love having perished. It is in jail that ken reflects his wasted life that led to a destructive and fruitless future. He reflects that it is his father and koa who lured him into jail without his knowledge. When Claudia visits him in prison, ken seems to have surrendered into destiny at last when he tells Claudia that he is not starting over because he is too done to start all over again.
The Tattoo creates a realistic view of what happens in the prison outside normal societal set up. The prisoners in the correctional facility are the hardcore members of the gangs that commit violence in Hawaii. In the prison where they live, the situation is bound by ethnicity or rather race, but the groups and the bonds that is created between the inmates is based on certain aspects for instance ability to do certain tasks, security and individual's ability to obtain some things. In prison, the priority is to obtain self security and survival. Ken had to show his strength in order to be accepted in to the group min the correctional facility. Ethic affiliation is not of much importance here. Cal, who is a Haole, is accepted into the group in the correctional facility because of his prowess in the tattoo art and his willingness to let his food be eaten by Nu'u. Although he was involved in an accident, his ability is vital to his survival in jail. In an environment where the resources are scarce, talents become pricy. Nu'u acts as a security for the group as a leader and a link to the other groups that exist within the prison. I got to hear of the same situation from a friend who was once jailed. His existence depended on his relationship with the group leader and his ability to tell stories that would make his prison mates laugh.
The novel addresses many contemporary societal aspects. The main issues are cultural assimilation, anger, racism, the influence of family and friends on an individual. All these intriguing aspects in the novel Tattoo invoke thoughts while at the same time captivates a reader to read even deeper in the book to know what happens.
The book brings on characters in a story which is interesting. When Ken tells his story, the reader gets a clear insight into his life, feelings and thoughts about things that he faces. It ranges from his family, culture, racism and the assimilation that he has seen and gone through as young Japanese individual growing up in Hawaii.
Themes such as interactions and symbolic interaction and social identity theory are seen throughout the novel. Ken himself is a manifestation of culture and ethnicity. He had a mother who was well educated and had quite a good command of English language. Ken himself says hat his mother possessed a stone white accent of English. His father grew up in Oahu and only spoke a pidgin language of Hawaii. This makes feel angry and intimidating. Although the fact that Ken's family is Japanese, they have been assimilated to the Hawaiian language and culture. This has been contributed by the fact that they lived in Hawaii and adopted the local custom and language (Crow, 2003).
The Tattoo is a truly captivating novel. The book touches on topics that face the contemporary society. It has been set up in a real world, with characters that appear so real because of what happens to them and how they respond to the surroundings. Nothing is fictional in the book. Chris McKinney indeed came up with a book that can be said to be a realistic portrayal of the world today.
"The Tattoo" is a raw witness regarding discretion and consequences, principles in addition to practicality, self-detachment and sanity (McKinney, 2007). Since the scars of violence and abuse are so deep, the friends are supposed to make efforts is helping the abused and battered women heal and move on. Such women should be counseled, offered the required therapy and supported by women who have been through similar process and have healed. Family and friends can quicken the recovery rate of such women both emotionally and psychologically. Friends and families can intervene in assisting women in violent situation by for instance offering "a domestic violence shelter" and this is a place where such women can go and seek refuge from those abusing them. Where the shelter is located should be kept confidential as this will prevent the abuser from finding where they are. In case those being sheltered cannot afford to cater for their upkeep, the family and friends can make efforts to provide them with basic living needs. Finally, the family and friends can help the battered women by helping them to build new healthy relationships.
On the other hand, the society should stop viewing women as the lesser gender and should embrace equality for both men and women and this will help in reducing gender-based violence since both genders will perceive both genders as equals. First: the infernal area of Hawaii kept shielded from earthly pride; a third world in an Eden like Hawaii and where racism is blunt. The cohabitation of Filipinos with Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese in that part of Hawaii suggests a typecast. "Koreans, for some reason, always want to open their business, unlike Filipinos who seemed to always work for somebody" (McKinney, 2007).
This novel reaffirms the stereotypes such as racism. For example, the infernal area kept shielded from earthly pride: this is a third world within an Eden like Hawaii and where racism is direct and open. The cohabitation of Filipinos with Koreans, Japanese as well as Vietnamese in that segment of Hawaii implies a typecast. Koreans always want to start businesses while Filipinos always work for someone. The society should view each race as its equal and appreciate each other's differences and this can help in diminishing racial inequalities (McKinney, 2007).
The novel has been helpful in my course since it successfully illustrates most of the concepts addressed within our theoretical text. For example, it addresses social stratification, dominant-minority relations, colonialism, prejudice, discrimination. Furthermore, "The Tattoo" enables a reader to fight with sides of Hawaii our pervasive tourist industry works painstakingly to hide. The novel helped me in understanding different sociological stereotypes in the society.