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Written by Micola Magdalena
“Why are we being harassed?”
In the third chapter, Luis mentions one time when he saw a friend of his being beat by the police for the simple reason that he asked the police why he was being harassed. The other Latinos could no nothing, just stay on the side and watch as one of their own was almost killed by the police. This scene has the purpose of showing just how prejudiced the police was and how the Latinos suffered sometimes for no other reason than the fact that they were Latinos.
“She’s being initiated into The Tribe.”
In the society where Luis lived, gang life was not exclusively only for the boys as women and girls could chose to become gang members as well. For them, the initialization process was different than the one that men were subjected to. In the second chapter for example, Luis sees a girl around his age having sex with a man from the same gang he wanted to become a part of. The leader of the gang told Luis that the girl was being initialized into the gang, hinting thus that women had a place in the gang but their purpose was to be used by the men in the gang as sex toys.
“I wanted the power to hurt somebody.”
Luis tries to explain the reason why he wanted to join a gang and he tells his readers that he wanted to feel powerful, to feel as if he had the power to hurt somebody. In his childhood, Luis grew up feeling powerless, feeling as if he was a ball bouncing from one place to another. Because of this, when he grew up and when he was no longer a little boy he decided that he wanted to stop feeling helpless and that he wanted to become the one the others were afraid of.
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