Monster Character Analysis

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Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member is written by Sanyika Shakur. This novel is about his life and experiences within the Crips gang in South Central Los Angeles. Shakur released his memoir in 1993, after turning his life around while inside the prison system. His given name at birth was Kody Scott and at just eleven years old, Kody was initiated into the Crips after shooting a rival gang member and later earned himself the street name of Monster due to his horrifying acts of violence. Throughout his recount of his life and experiences inside the gang and inside various prison institutions, Shakur paints a very vivid picture of the places and spaces which he helped to create, and, in turn, helped to create him, and which he…show more content…
These issues of power lie within the outside world and their relationship to places in South Central Los Angeles as well as the perceived power of the individuals within the gang, and the gang as a separate entity. Shakur paints a picture of a group of people who know that they have no true power outside of their own gang infrastructure, but within this culture and this particular infrastructure, there is a perceived sense of power from one individual to the next: the strong dominate the weak and the strong are those willing to make any sacrifice to hold their place in their own social hierarchy, often by use of physical and gun violence, which in turn is seen by the outside world to become a stereotypical trademark of gang life. These issues of true power over perceived power are particularly evident in Shakur’s description of the prison life. The guards at the prisons, whom Shakur frequently makes a point of describing as American (meaning white and affluent), hold the true power while there is only a sense of perceived power among the inmates and this relationship consistently creates tensions and situations primed for revolt. In many ways, this is related to Prashad’s views on the third world project in that we see a society that is fighting for the dignities that the rest of the society which surrounds it are given without question which provides those with those dignities a power over the rest (Prashad 2007). Rather than being a third world on the scale of particular countries, this is a third world nation within a first world
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