"Sleepers" By Lorenzo Caracttera. Essay

1520 words - 6 pages

Book ReviewSleepers by Lorenzo Carcattera 1996A True StoryArrow PublishersIn this review, I will critically evaluate the concepts the author presents regarding young people and culture. I shall provide a concise overview, summarising the main strengths and weaknesses of the images portrayed. On Completion of this I will move on to consider my own responses, both personally and professionally. In conclusion, I shall reflect on issues raised, which have increased my knowledge and understanding of young people and culture. Comments will be made on any implications this may have, for my future practise as a social science worker.The novel Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcattera, unfolds the true account of friendship and how human instincts deal with abuse, and other life changing experiences. The scene is set in the mid 60's, in the American mid-Manhattan neighbourhood of Hell's Kitchen. Four 'inseparable' (Carcattera,L.1996:pg23) friends Lorenzo (the author) Michael, Tommy, and John, devise a plan to steal food from a hot-dog cart, that goes wrong almost resulting in the death of a man. Their lives now change forever, in one non-intentional moment.The book is fundamentally about revenge and retribution, following the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, at the hands of the guards in the Wilkinson home for boys, where they each are sentenced to twelve months.Skipping to the latter part of the book now, eleven years later. The year 1981, the four have now been released; individually their lives have moved on but collectively, each have grave memories of the abuse they suffered. In a chance encounter, John and Tommy meet a former guard Nokes in a resturant, and get their anticipated revenge by killing him in cold blood. Each of the men now has to confront their past, Michael now an attorney, and Lorenzo a newspaper writer, together devise a plan to manipulate the court case, attaining redemption and innocence once again.Carcattera covers various themes in his book including culture, power, friendship, violence, bullying, death, and relationships. Culture is a regular theme in the neighbourhood, the opening chapter explains the importance of this, 'Hell's Kitchen was a place where everyone knew everything about everybody and everybody could be counted on' (Carcattera,L.1996:pg23). The importance of friendships is evident in the quote ' My friends and I were inseparable, happy and content to live within the closed world of Hell's Kitchen. The West side of Manhattan was our private playground, a cement kingdom where we felt ourselves to be nothing less than absolute rulers' (Carcattera,L.1996:pg23). Each of the young people were of Irish descent, few mothers worked and all had trouble with their marriages. 'Domestic violence was a cottage industry in Hell's Kitchen' (Carcattera,L.1996:pg23). The above were all cultural norms of Hell's Kitchen.The author portrays the young people as victims of their culture, they are agents of social change, and they learn to...

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