The Issue Of The Tattooed Soldier Novel Film Studies Short Summary

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He besides brings out the subject of use of world, which is observed in the class of the narrative. Tobar besides puts Forth the statement that use of multitudes carried out by the guerillas result in persons taking a destructive life in future ( Tobar 14 ) . This statement is supported through the development of the supporter Longoria, as will be observed in the analysis.


Brief Analysis of the Novel

The narrative of the Tattooed Soldier begins as a love narrative and incorporates painful and passionate narration of the lives of two supporters, Guillermo Longoria and Antonio Bernal ( Tobar 15 ) . In this novel, the writer, Hector Tobar attempts to convey out different subjects as concerns the narrative of these two but the chief subject that he uses and brings to visible radiation is that of use. Manipulation can be defined as that behaviour used by an persons to acquire what they want without paying attending to other persons ‘ feelings while acquiring it ( Tobar 25 ) . It can besides be defined as utilizing and understanding any agencies necessary in geting what one wants or desires to hold ( Ibid 26 ) . The Tattooed Soldier is a fresh holding the subject of emotional use, whereby one of the supporters, Longoria, experiences it as portion of his enlisting in the guerilla ground forces.

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Tobar besides investigates the effects every bit good as influences of this type of use through the supporters, uncovering the nature of how each character develops in the class of the narrative ( Tobar 35 ) . The Tattooed Soldier explores emotional use by concentrating on the occurrences of the Guatemalan Civil War together with the Los Angeles public violences which took topographic point in 1993 ( Ibid 36 ) . It is non ever easy to acknowledge use or when one is being manipulated as is seen with Longoria ‘s character. Once a provincial, he was recruited into the guerilla ground forces as a adolescent, with the promise of Eden full of easy recognition, free seed and free land ( Tobar 41 ) . This was the political orientation given during preparation Sessionss meant for Guatemalan officers based at the U. S. Army base.

Emotional use is besides witnessed with Antonio, who being a Guatemalan citizen, lives in fright of his life from the guerilla ground forces forces. The guerillas had mastered the art of use by doing the people live in pure panic ; they exhibited this through bombardments, nobbling the rich and killing suspected betrayers ( Tobar 47 ) . Because of this fright and use by the authorities, Antonio was forced to fly from his native land upon detecting that him and his household had been suspected of being betrayers and were being hunted down.

Manipulation comes in many signifiers for case, through aggressive demands or outlooks, disregard, penalty, abuses or doing panic to the intended victim ( Tobar 58 ) . There are besides effects as a consequence of being manipulated as indicated by the writer through his supporters. It attacks the really being of an single go forthing them untrusting, unworthy every bit good as emotionally destitute ( Ibid 61 ) . This can be seen in Antonio more than in Longoria as he tries to last in the streets of Los Angeles where he has become a safety. Antonio feels untrusting and develops an overpowering emotional demand to take retribution for the slaying of his household ( Tobar 66 ) . He besides feels manipulated by his authorities in that alternatively of protecting its citizens during the Civil War as it said it would, the authorities turns its dorsum on them and alternatively Hunts anyone suspected of being an betrayer ( Tobar 73 ) .

Harmonizing to Tobar as he indicates in this novel, use besides causes persons to alter inside and non for the best. As is with Antonio ‘s instance who was one time a naive and peaceable person, his characteristic changed to that of being a vengeful, pitiless adult male who wanted nil but justness, nevertheless possible, for what had been done to him ( Tobar 86 ) .

An Overview of the Subject

The Tattooed Soldier is a fresh about love, war and poorness, all brought out in the class of the narrative. However, the chief subject portrayed by Tobar is that of use of world. During the preparation of the Guatemalan army members at the United States Army base, political orientations were offered to these provincials who were soon-to-be soldiers of the Guatemalan ground forces ( Tobar 112 ) . These persons were promised a Eden of easy recognition, free land and free seed and by this ; the provincials were connected to the guerillas, maintaining the Communist motion intact. Guatemalan army took advantage of guiltless citizen by making fright and panic within them. For case, they would nobble rich persons, slaying anyone suspected of being an betrayer and bombed coffeehouse ( Ibid 117 ) . As a consequence, the lives of the Guatemalan citizens are left destroyed with their emotions, ideas and feelings tending towards the negative attitude as concerns the US authorities and the Guatemalan Army.

In add-on, Hector Tobar investigates the effects because of the Guatemalan citizens being manipulated by the guerillas through his supporters. Antonio is set on happening justness and retaliation due to the slaying of his married woman and boy and his pursuit for this is set against the Los Angeles helter-skelter public violences, which were besides taking topographic point ( Tobar 124 ) . Los Angeles is portrayed as a metropolis full of pack members and engagement in disorderly behaviors where poorness reigns. The struggles and public violences, which arise during this clip, are as a consequence of Guatemalan refugees and citizens experiencing manipulated and taken advantage of by the United States authorities ( Ibid 126 ) . It this novel was simply about a screed against the American imperialism, it would easy hold been forgotten. But alternatively, it brings to illume the immorality that world has to undergo in the name of happening justness and endurance ( Tobar 131 ) .

The subject of use of world has been observed in a figure of cases within the narrative. For case, being a poetic naive person, Antonio falls in love Elena, who is a fellow university pupil but is forced to fly their Guatemalan fatherland as a consequence of going marks of the authorities ( Ibid 137 ) . As stated earlier on, the authorities guerrillas engaged in snatch and murdering suspected betrayers and Antonio together with his household became one of these suspects. Manipulation is brought out in this case in that the reader is made to detect the fact that Guatemalan citizens lived in entire panic and fright and were cognizant that they did non possess any freedom of motion or address ( Tobar 140 ) . They lived in fright of being killed at any peculiar clip. Antonio and his household become suspected of being student fomenters.

Another side to the subject that is portrayed in the novel is that of unemployment. During this peculiar scene, Los Angeles was seemingly divided into two categories, that is, the high category and the low category ( Tobar 141 ) . Those of the high category position would happen employment with easiness and lead comfy lives while those of the lower category position would resile from one humble occupation to the following, as was in the instance of Antonio ( Ibid 143 ) . After flying to Los Angeles, Antonio became schizophrenic, stateless and lived amongst drug addicts who used to steal nutrient for him. On the other manus, when Longoria came to Los Angeles, life for him was seemingly easier every bit compared to Antonio ‘s. This can be attributed to the fact that he was one of the members of the elect units within the Guatemalan ground forces, hence enabling him to hold particular privileges ( Tobar 157 ) . This fact angers Antonio who makes the observation that Longoria is able to travel freely within the United States without much obstructor.

Extra subject to the narrative by the writer

The writer of The Tattooed Soldier is besides reasoning about racial favoritism though this is a minor subject as compared to that of use of world. The helter-skelter public violences taking topographic point in Los Angeles during the clip that Antonio was stalking and plotting against Longoria were because of the Rodney King test. Rodney King was an Afro-american person who was a victim of constabulary ferociousness by LAPD ( Los Angeles Police Department ) in 1991 ( Tobar 163 ) . The job began when Rodney ‘s auto was spotted rushing beyond the Californian velocity bound on their manner from a friend ‘s house in Los Angeles, where they had spent the dark imbibing and watching a baseball game ( Ibid 164 ) . His auto was flagged down by traffic constabulary and one time they ordered him out of the auto, the four constabulary officers pounced on him with wands, crushing him repeatedly while he was on the land. While LAPD suggested that these officers were moving in self-defence as a manner of keeping Rodney, the remainder of the Afro-american society perceived it to be a racial favoritism act of force ( Tobar 167 ) . As a consequence, Rodney suffered internal hurts and a fractured skull.

In the class of the probe, another test took topographic point affecting a Korean American who was to be sentenced because of hiting dead a immature Afro-american adult female ( Tobar 174 ) . The person was handed a indulgent sentence and this farther increased racial tensenesss in the metropolis of Los Angeles. In 1992, the twelvemonth when the narrative affecting Antonio and Longoria is set, the four officers involved in the Rodney instance were cleared of any accusal of assault ( Ibid 185 ) . This was the cause of the public violences during that peculiar clip. Antonio, being a naive, mean category citizen of Guatemala was taken advantage of by the authorities and forced to fly his native land. Once in Los Angeles, he became a victim of racial favoritism in that he could non easy happen employment or a nice topographic point to remain due to his cultural background ( Tobar 231 ) . This factor was further fueled by the occurrences in Los Angeles as a consequence of the Rodney King test.

Elementss of the Text back uping the Author ‘s statement

The Tattooed Soldier is a capturing novel which provokes its readers to re-think about their thoughts and understanding as concerns stateless immigrants in the metropolis of Los Angeles every bit good as the exploited persons in Guatemala ( Tobar 239 ) . Antonio and Longoria are faced with the issues of category construction and ethnicity in the scenes portrayed in the narrative. Military schemes, human rights misdemeanors, emotional and personal struggles and refugee undertones are all incorporated in this powerful novel doing the narrative easy to associate with ( Ibid 242 ) . Certain elements of the text support Tobar ‘s statement refering the subjects of the narrative. For case, the scene of the narrative is during the clip when a major test affecting an Afro-american person and the Los Angeles Police Department was taking topographic point ( Tobar 248 ) . At the same clip, bulk of Guatemalan citizens were flying their state due to the guerillas snatch, bombing and killing them on intuition of being betrayers and provokers.

Fortunes environing the events prompt and pull strings Antonio into wanting to take retaliation and readers observe the alteration in his characteristic – from that of being a naive, peace loving single to that of being a fury driven single full of retribution ( Tobar 253 ) . Revenge becomes the exclusive ground and intent for his quest to go on life and lasting. As portion of the few elements introduced to back up the writer ‘s statements as concerns the subjects, the readers are introduced to another character, Frank, who happens to be a stateless Afro-american ( Ibid 259 ) . Frank befriends Antonio who besides finds himself in the province of being homeless in the streets of Los Angeles. Together, they move from one cantonment to the following, and after descrying Longoria in one of the cantonments, Antonio requests Frank to assist him acquire his retaliation ( Tobar 260 ) . At the beginning, Frank is hesitating as to helping him in his quest but on adverting that Longoria can be compared to Nazi, merely a modern twenty-four hours version of one, he does non believe twice. Frank is besides in a place to associate with current occurrences during that period since he besides happens to be of a minority group, populating in a metropolis where there exists racial tenseness and use ( Ibid 263 ) .

Furthermore, the scene of the narrative is of two distinguishable yet similar scenarios, which are intertwined by the supporters, Antonio and Longoria. Guatemala and Los Angeles are both depicted as being peaceable to get down with but stoping up in pandemonium as a consequence of civil war and racial tenseness caused by the Rodney King trail, severally ( Tobar 256 ) . Bing citizens of Guatemala but acclaiming from different backgrounds, Antonio and Longoria find themselves in the metropolis of Los Angeles in an effort to get away from their painful memories. Here, they are brought together under different fortunes into the same secret plan of the narrative and the reader observes how each of the supporters reacts to their present state of affairs ( Tobar 254 ) . This new environment does non alter the feature of either of them and they do their best to accommodate to their milieus. Both Antonio and Longoria are seen to migrate from one cantonment to the following but the difference is that Longoria is able to bask certain privileges bestowed upon him due to the nature of his rank ( Ibid 265 ) . On the other manus, Antonio is left to fend for himself and seek lasting whichever manner he can since he does non bask the same privileges.

The Los Angeles public violences provoke the supporters to go more emotional and are reminded of their past memories. For case, one time the public violences begin, Antonio finds an interior resoluteness as a consequence of being swept up in the emotion, forcing him to seek justness by continuing to kill Longoria ( Tobar 270 ) . Longoria besides finds himself in an emotional convulsion after being confronted by Guatemalan refugees who recognized him for who he is and demanded replies to his actions while life in Guatemala. The general scene of the narrative is in the old ages 1991 and 1992 when Guatemalan civil war and the Los Angeles public violences took topographic point ( Ibid 272 ) . The narrative is besides set in two distinguishable metropoliss, Los Angeles, being a big urban country and Guatemala, being a in-between category, little country. These two metropoliss nevertheless, portion a similar scenario in that they are both set during rough economic times ( Tobar 275 ) . This has an overall impact on the supporters who find themselves caught up in the happenings of that peculiar period. Even though they do non alter their individuality despite the environments they find themselves in, their attitudes and emotional position are greatly influenced by the surrounding fortunes ( Tobar 276 ) .

The design or secret plan of the narrative in The Tattooed Soldier follows a form that enables the reader to understand the humanity of war. The narrative Begins with a love narrative of Antonio and Elena, returns with her and her boy ‘s barbarous executing by the guerillas, one of whom is Longoria and ends with a street slaying at the tallness of Rodney King public violences in Los Angeles ( Tobar 279 ) . The writer of The Tattooed Soldier leaves the readers greatly uncentered in that he depicts Antonio and Longoria as victims confronting the same ambitious state of affairs in Los Angeles. This in bend leads the readers to puting aside their perceived hatred towards Longoria and alternatively makes them sympathize with both supporters ( Ibid 283 ) .


Hector Tobar writes the novel The Tattooed Soldier with the purpose of looking at issues confronting the society as a whole for case issues related to category construction and ethnicity. Victimized persons in Guatemala every bit good as homeless immigrants populating in Los Angeles are brought to visible radiation and this enables the readers to set aside their differences and hatred for a minute and alternatively concentrate on sing common humanity.


Tobar, Hector. The Tattooed Soldier. Delphinium Books. University of Texas. 1998. p. 25 – 307.

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