13 June Assignment ‘The Tattooed Soldier’ written by Hector Tobar is a passionate tale that has helped to put forth an account of how revenge takes a vital role in order to serve for justice when it comes to losing out on one’s loved ones. Based on the backdrop of the civil war taking place in Guatemala, Antonio heads out to find Longoria, the man who had executed his wife and son. All he knows about the man is that he has a jaguar tattooed on his forearm. Antonio heads over to Lose Angeles to save his own life, and subsequently, over the years finds that Longoria has taken refuge their too. The book is thus a tale of how Antonio tries to hunt Longoria down in order to punish him for killing the two people he loved the most; it is a story of how revenge might help a man in order to seek justice even though that might not be the best option. Antonio’s purpose and priority in life was to provide his son and his wife with a good life, “Perhaps they could move to Mexico. Save enough money to move to Mexico or the United States; A place where they could be safe and their daughter, or son, could be educated. A place where you could speak your mind and there were no soldiers on the street.” (Tobar, Hector: pg. 118) He wanted to take them away from the ruckus that the war had created in Guatemala and help them forget the terrorising sights that they were forced to see every day. However, soon Antonio found his family dead upon his return one fine day and so, with time Antonio becomes obsessed with
the fact that Longoria has been able to run scot free in the United States without having to pay for any of the hideous crimes that he had committed back in Guatemala and the role that he had in the genocide itself. The story helps the readers to understand the intensity of shame hidden within Longoria that he tries to keep under wraps in order to take his anger and provocation out on the people around him and kill them as he feels like while being a stoic. Through his writing, Tobar has tried with a number of examples to show how infatuated Antonio had become with the idea of killing Longoria and how his belief that Longoria’s death would bring justice to the death of his wife and his son was not all that correct. The author has tried to portray through the character of Antonio, how revenge consumed him as a man and made him forget the morals that his personality was based on. Seeking revenge had thus become the sole priority of Antonio’s life as he spent day after day trying to hunt down Longoria’s every move and the profound existence behind his living becomes looking for justice for his dead family. The author has thus tried to bring his readers closer to the truth that poverty, decay and homelessness and the kind of havoc that these sociological aspects of life have brought upon mankind. He writes, through Antonio’s feelings, that these are the very faces of struggle that turn a man wild and make him lose himself in order to find out his roots; something Antonio tried to do through his will and determination to hunt down and kill Longoria in order to finally help his mind rest in peace with respect to Elena and his son. Works Cited Tobar, Hector. The Tattooed Soldier. Penguin Non-Classics. 2000. Print.