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This book review discusses the general account of events as they unfold in “Monster: The Autobiography of a L.A. Gang Member” as written by Shakur Sanyika, the main theme of gang lifestyle and the strengths and weaknesses that are evident. This book gives a good account of a young boy who was socialized into gang life at a very tender age. It further highlights how crime finds its way into the lives of young people and the effects that follow. The main theme in this book revolves around the dangers that gangsters have plagued our societies. It gives an exploration of the way streets have harbored gangs even from the most mundane corners. The book effectively shows various facets of life. This book stands out as a very useful source that tackles a very insightful subject and most significantly is brought up in a very realistic manner. There is a lot of pragmatism in the book that makes it factual and contains information that the reader can identify with. This book gives a very good illustration of sociology in different ways and forms. It demonstrates the many different cultures that co-exist in the culture of the American society. It gives a good description of the way people make an effort to be different from the other people in the society even in the very small outstanding ways. The information offered in the book ranges from the various colors that are worn up to the crimes committed. This source is depicts some kind of mod mentality in almost every possible way.
Monster: The Autobiography of a L.A. Gang Member as written by Shukar (2004) is a book that shows shocking realities of gang conflict and the problems which emerge in the environs like those of South Central Los Angeles. The book gives a chronological account of several events and stereotypical barriers. The eloquent voice of Scott gives the reader an actual point of view of his thoughts and the politics in the Crips as well. The book publishes information concerning gang warfare and people who are killed each day in every gang war. The book gives an account of one Kody Scott who stays true to himself and the readers as he used the exact gang names as well as the slang that is normally used in the ‘hood. The book brings out an actual element of realism to the whole story which makes it a true reflection of the times and things that actually took place.
The book takes a unique approach in naming the characters and keeps close to the events as they happened. The book gives an account of how Kody Scott underwent a transformation to a Muslim activist from a gangster. The book presents an extreme nature in Kody Scott as far as his actions and beliefs are concerned. Kody Scott makes transitions from the streets to the different juvenile prisons and halls. This is a graphical story with a very depressing form from the beginning to the end. The author does not show elements of fear and does not seem to shelter anything. Unlike many people would want to stay safe as possible by thinking that such things as explained in the book do not take place, the author explores a subject that is not likely to be tackled by many people. It is a book that unveils frightening experiences that can scare many readers.
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Apparently, the book shows the seriousness with which the people in the streets should be dealt with. It displays another image of criminals and murders of the street dwellers and cannot be considered to be role models under whatever aspect. The book does not glorify violence of gangs but instead exposes things that have plagued the streets from time in memorial without peaceful end in sight.
The main theme in this book highlights the dangers that gangsters have plagued our societies. It explores how streets have harbored gangs even from the most mundane corners in them. It is a book that the author has approached with a lot of simplicity in exposing the plight that has befallen the society due to gangs of violence. He propagates this theme through a twelve year-old Kody Scott who matures into one of the most dreadful Crip combat armed men. The boy earns a title, “Monster” for the acts of violence and brutality he commits. The magnitude of these acts is so enormous that they stress on the severity of crime. Kody Scott’s actions surpass those of the fellow members of the gang. The author shows how the fabric of the society has been disintegrated through organized gangs which when not dealt with at early stages can find their way to the political scene.
The main character in the book, Kody Scott gets confined in to a maximum-security cell by the inevitable jail term. Kody Scott later on transforms into Sanyika Shakur from being a Monster. This takes place both at the personal and political level. The transformation brings along a character of a black nationalist, a crusader against the causes of people becoming gangsters and at the same time a New Afrikan Independence Movement member in Sanyika Shakur. This is a first hand chronological account of violence cycles between organized gangs in south central Los Angeles towards the end of the 1970s and early 1980s. The author exposes on the detrimental effects of criminology and how the young are initiated into criminal gangs. It is a slippery slope that assimilates people into crime. The book clearly shows that it is not a spontaneous thing but crime has its beginning in the very simplest forms within the society. Therefore, the main idea put forward in the book is handling every sign of criminology with a lot of seriousness. Every small child in the streets is not to be underestimated for whatever reason but should be handled with a lot of cautiousness.
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This is a very useful source that tackles a very sensitive subject and most importantly is brought up in a very realistic manner. There is a lot of realism in the book that makes it factual, information that the reader can identify with. It is usually the norm of soldiers to take on the “I am already dead” attitude to lessen the effects of fear from deterring the efficiency of the combat. The book takes on a similar attitude and thus gives a strong argument on why the issues being discussed are important. The beginning of the book is very interesting and captivating as it details how young children are socialized into gang life and most of the things that take place behind the scenes. This book is a must read for young adults and teens. Monster makes the reader actually understand the various gang lifestyles and revolutionaries in the world. The book is actually an eye opener to the very dramatic events that hap in the corners of streets and that the society has tried to shy away from. By way of reading the book, the reader further understands the reality of gang life and the things that fuel the minds of teens and young adults joining the world of gangs. This book is a very good source that can be used to teach young people with ambitions of joining crime groups the consequences and the dangers of whatever action that they take. The book gives a hope of may be members of rival gangs getting along.
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However, some weakness comes along this factual book as the reader could feel as though the author is a racist. At some point, the author says that the white people were Americans and the blacks were Africans, something that may not sound well with some readers. It looks like the author excuses himself for everything. Some readers would want to be defined as Americans generally. Despite the fact that people are Spaniards, Italians or any other nationality does not necessarily mean that they come from Spain or Italy and so on. Therefore, the author paints a disturbing picture that many people would not want to identify with. It would have been better if the author did not go to such lengths in trying to put across his message on gangster life. These racial affiliations do not seem to add on any value to the entire book. Crime affects us all and therefore not a predisposition to a certain tribe or race. It affects all humanity and any human being can become a culprit. Therefore, these ideas created flaws that could cause uneasiness in the book.
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Despite the weaknesses highlighted in this book, there is much of benefit that it unveils than the few elements that cause discomfort. This book is a very good illustration of sociology in a number of ways. It demonstrates the many various cultures that co-exist in the culture of the American society. It gives a good account of how people endeavor to be different from the rest of the society even in the very small ways. The information provided in the book ranges from the various colors that are worn up to the actions of murder. This source depicts some kind of mod mentality in almost all ways possible. This is very much evident regardless of whether it is the effort of an individual or a group for making a specific group better.
The L.A. gang wars have existed and are still taking place even to this time. The book begins with the initiation of young Kody Scott into gang life to a group, the Crips. There is an account of various stories of prison, drugs and murder, all of which are a daily occurrence in the life of any member of a gang. Sociology comes out with a lot of magnitude in this book and more in particular, socialization into crime. In and out of prison, Scott grew bigger and bigger for the most part of his entire life. This was the scale that is normally used to measure the reputation of an individual. Sanyika who is also know as Kody Scott initially converted to the NAIM after he had been in constant trouble for a period of almost thirteen years. NAIM was an organization that promoted peace all over the world. This is a very striking transformation that is all depended on the socialization that an individual gets.
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Sanyika came up with this writing as he was serving a seven-year sentence for protecting his people against the same things he once participated in greatly. This was a very effective way in which Sanyika wrote the book. He began by showing the very authentic life style of a member of a gang. This was a very important step that he took initially to open up the readers. It was important to open the eye of the reader to see and have an insight into the things happening in the real society and the world at large in which we live. The author develops and puts to focus various versions of life. There is a great life transformation that helps the reader understand that there is more to life other than just crime and crime gangs. The book is in a persuasive mood as though it was directed to the American teens and young adults to stop gang lifestyle. The book is both a valuable and powerful piece of literature that gives the reality of the things that have plagued the American society. It has helped readers to see things from very different point of perceptions. The book has effectively shown that life luxuries can be taken away very fast.
Monster: The Autobiography of a L.A. Gang Member is thus a very useful piece of work that can be adopted by many readers especially the youth in realizing what life entails. It is an important source that can be used to tell the youth that life is not about mere fantasies. Every person regardless of their age can fall prey to criminal gangs through different ways of socialization and initiation. However, it is worth to note as demonstrated by the book that every individual will remain accountable and responsible for the actions they commit. It is also important to know as highlighted in the book that there is more than meets the eye in whatever environments that we find ourselves in. Thus, this book is a great informative source that tackles societal challenges in a more realistic descriptive way.
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