A Boot Camp For Troubled Teens English Literature Essay


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Thematically the will and perseverance to survive will conquer all obstacles as Garrett, Paul and Sara were sent to Lake Harmony a boot camp for troubled teens. Lake Harmony run like a penitentiary, and they did not deserve to be there. Throughout Todd Strasser's novel, BOOT CAMP one will learn that anything is possible with some reinforcement.

Set in the northwestern United States, Garret was kidnapped and taken to lake Harmony a boot camp for troubled teens. All types of troubled children reside there. Garret does not believe he belongs there because he feels that he has done nothing wrong. However Garret was insubordinate and dated his teacher. Garret's parents attempted to end their relationship by getting the teacher fired. Paul and Sara are garrets friends that he meets when he gets to the camp, have plans of escape. When they do escape, they tell people they are following a band called fudge.

Thematically, the will and perseverance to survive will conquer all obstacles as Garrett, Paul and Sara were sent to Lake Harmony, because their parents believed that they needed an intervention. They were all subjected to daily beatings and isolation. "Welcome to TI- Temporary Isolation- where I am forced to lie down on the cold concrete floor for twenty-four hours a day except for a few minutes here and there to eat or use the bathroom"(Strasser 30). They were not allowed to talk because the camp was run like a prison. Sara told Garrett they had a plan to escape and he was skeptical. He believed they were hired by the staff to get him in trouble for conspiring to escape. He discovered they were not lying and he joins the escape. "Less than a dozen yards away, Sara cries out as Joe tackles her. They crash down into the leaves and twigs. With Sara on the ground, Joe quickly jumps back to his feet. But before he can yank her up, he's got company--me" (Strasser 162). They made it out of the camp before the transporters from the camp caught up to them. When the children were escaping the transporters the boat the transporters were using was leaking and they almost drowned. When Garrett got to the other side of the river he sent Sara away and he went back to rescue the transporters. When he gets there and tells them to promise that they will not take him back to Lack Harmony. When he recues them they took him back to the camp. Sara was gone and never heard of again. When Garrett is back "home" he resumes his usual schedule and lives that way until he turns eighteen, which is when he is considered an adult and they have no jurisdiction on him. Thematically, the will and perseverance to survive conquered all obstacles as Garrett, Paul and Sara were released from the camp out of the camp Lake Harmony.

Although Garret and Sara were sent to a boot camp that was run like a prison, they did not deserve to be there. A prison is a place where people are sent due to the problems they have caused for others and even themselves. "Publicly funded institutionsâ€"such as prisons, state mental hospitals, and juvenile-detention centersâ€"typically contain people placed in them involuntarily"(Brown). According to Barns American prisons started in the original thirteen colonies due to England sending its workers to do working the 1500's. "In the late 1970s and early 1980s, however, the picture changed considerably. The prison population by 1982 rose to more than 412,000, an all-time record, representing an increase of nearly 12% in one year"(Wright). According to Wright the Romains forbid imprisonment at least in antiquity. Today in the U.S:

"In the United States today there are more than half a million adults and children under the age of 18 serving time in prison. Most prisoners are male high-school dropouts between the ages of 18 and 29. Most of them have committed violent crimes against other people (such as murder or assault with a deadly weapon), property crimes (such as theft or burglary), or "white collar" crimes (such as tax evasion or embezzlement). Less than 5 percent of the convicted criminals in the United States are women"(Barnes).

Most prisons today are split into male and female. Contrary to popular belief the female prisons are more often more dangerous then male prisons, with the accounts of amount of security and reasons people are there. Most of what happens in prisons is due to gang presents in the systems. what happens is in a chain reaction, a gang is made or introduced into a given prison and it recruits members by fear and power. If you have someone's fear then they will most likely join your gang because they are scared of you, or they could join another gang to get their protection. Gangs move from prison to prison by the ideas that people have when they either get out of prison or get transferred. "To cope with overcrowding, local, state, and federal systems have turned to private vendors of correctional facilities"(Vito).

Through the characterization of Garret prison life is reveled as he enters boot camp. "I was always big for my age. Now I'm just big, period. Six feet four, 230 pounds, and broad-shouldered, even if I am the opposite of athletic"(Strasser 22). He was well educated, but too smart for his own good. He felt he did not need to go to school. Garret was big in the family and only child, he always had more than a enough of everything, especially money. Most of the trouble he got in was due to his extra money and finding ways to spend it. Through the characterization of Garret it is made known that anyone can go to prison for any reason. when his parents come to see him at the end of the book he tells them that the camp has been physically abusive to him. the one thing his parents or the counselors did not expect was to hear him say" I deserved it, sir"(Strasser 232)

"A square, handwritten cardboard sign hangs around her neck: TWO YEARS AND STILL PULLING THE SAME CRAP." (Strasser 22). Sara has been a guest of Lake Harmony for quite some time and will do anything to get out. She is very quiet, and that works to her advantage because in Lake Harmony they are not authorized to talk. Sara is very thin and pale from all the malnutrition and lack of fresh air that the inmates receive. Before Garret is returned to camp, Sara is already free and with a plan. she is on her way to Canada to live with her aunt.

Paul was very and ranked low in Lake Harmony society. He was always preyed on by the older and more experienced inmates. He had his own opinion and his own story of why he was there. ""Know what's frickin' twisted?" Pauly asks as we lie on rough mats of broken cornstalks waiting for sleep. My father would be proud of me now. It takes a real man to set fires and escape from boot camp" (Strasser 186). His father thought he was weak and needed to toughen him up, boot camp was the best and only option. Pauly is on the run with Sara and also on the way to Sara's aunts house.

Paul and Sara have plans of escape. When they do escape, they tell people they are following a band called Fudge. The will and perseverance to survive conquered all obstacles as Garrett, Paul and Sara were released from the camp out of the camp Lake Harmony. Although Garret and Sara were sent to a boot camp that was run like a prison, they did not deserve to be there, but they did escape. Through the characterization of Garret we see anyone can go to prison for any reason. Sara is also a great character that show characterization in a similar way to Garrett.

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