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The Tattooed Soldier Essay

761 words - 4 pages

Los Angeles, California is often seen as the city of dreams. Hollywood paints the picture of Los Angeles as a place of endless possibilities. Los Angeles is also thought as the city where dreamers can come with nothing in their pocket and become an over night success story. Many Americans and immigrants come to Los Angeles with the same dream of success. In The Tattooed Soldier Tobar describes how this fictionalized “American dream” version of the Los Angeles affects immigrants. In the novel Tobar followed two Guatemalan immigrants Antonio and Longeria who live very different lifestyles in their home country and in America. Los Angeles seemed to be the land of dreams and promise to both characters, however; Los Angeles becomes a place of harsh reality for Antonio and Longeria. In the novel we watch how Antonio and Longeria adjust to the struggles of being immigrants in Los Angeles, , and what makes man a man.
In the first section of The Tattooed Soldier are introduced Antonio. Antonio is coming to Los Angeles to escape the Guatemalan government, and views Los Angeles as a place where he can start a new life. We learn that in his home country of Guatemala Antonio is seen as an intellectual and lives a comfortable middle class lifestyle, however; in America Antonio faces the hardship of working degrading jobs with less than minimum wage pay and eventually becoming homeless. In the novel Antonio states, “In Spanish, I sound like the intelligent person I really am. In English, I am a busboy.” Antonio’s character also informs the reader that when Latin American immigrants traveled to the United States their life is automatically downgraded. Antonio gives an example of this push pull factor by stating, “It was a fact of life that when you came to the United States you moved down in social station and professional responsibilities. Women with medical degrees became laboratory assistants, accountants became ditch diggers. Los Angeles made you less than you were back home” (pg.51).
In contrast Longeria experience as a Latin American immigrant in Los Angeles is completely different. Longeria character is a military man in his home country of Guatemala. He is first...

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