Literary Essay Sample: The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu

Published: 2022-06-01
Literary Essay Sample: The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Immigration Biography
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 877 words
8 min read

Cantu's rich prose and lyrical journey define the human effects that come with depersonalized policies. In his book, Cantu broadens the insight on the two lines which divide what is known from the unknown. Broadly, the book looks at those who patrol borders, the encounter they have and the migrants who risk their lives while crossing the borders. Through his lyrical journey, the readers are introduced to humanity through the history of the immigrants and the role played by immigration. Those who think they have information on immigration and life at the border should have a glance at the book, and they will be moved by the unexpected language patterns used by the author. The author served as an agent in 2008 to 2012 in the United States border (Atkins). The experience in the deserts of Arizona broadened the understanding of the experiences at the borders. The specific motif that binds disparate passages and sections of the book is that of personal violence that comes with border wreaks on both sides of the line.

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Through the patterns of the motif, the author presents snapshots of the experiences he went through in the form of the people he encountered. Border wreaks are defined through the encounter of Cantu with some people. First, the author encountered two teenagers who were lost in the forest. The teenagers were disoriented and dehydrated. One of the teenager's uncle was dead. Conversely, the author meets a man who wants to work and is requesting to be taken back to the station. He claims that he is in a position to take out the trash and clean the cells. The border Wreaks are presented through the encounters of the large cartels and the immigrants who are looking for a better life (Cantu 2018). The cartels charge the immigrants a lot of money while guiding the migrants across the border. Conversely, there are good migrants who are looking for better lives.

Through the motif patterns, the author is left wondering what role he should play in the system. Besides, the readers are introduced to the prose of the book. The first part of the book introduces the readers to Cantus training and induction to the field. Besides, Cantu is introduced to new ways of saving the lives of the migrants who are stranded at the borders. The second part of the book involves a growing realization that his work entails more about helping the corrupt system that came with the borders (Cantu). He sees examples of colleagues who consider helping migrants as being a crime and undue softness. The author enters into a moral injury which is defined by the remorse, guilt, sorrow, moral confusion and bitterness (Atkins). The last part involves the attempts of the author to come to terms with his moral injury. This is seen from the part where he helped Jose who was separated from the family from deportation. Cantus had legal efforts which helped the victim to get back to his family.

The author concludes the book by asking the question of what would redemption look like. Cantu leaves the question to the readers who are expected to associate their answers with the desert's taint of impunity. Through the systematic presentation of the motif, the author logically presents the subject of the book. Besides, the author gives prose to his work because he forms a consistent flow of information (Atkins). Through the recurring elements of experiences at the border, the mood of the article was created. Besides, the recurring elements bring about the significance and theme of the whole piece of work. The sequence of the motif helps in creating the concept of evil and good. The empathy that comes with the author brings the reader to the subject of humanity despite the past experiences or stressful occasions.

Conclusively, the author has used a logical flow of thoughts to bring out the idea of immigration and the border. Primarily, through his encounters, the readers are introduced to different experiences which are defined by the circumstance of the victims. Some victims were carrying out illegal activities, while others were looking for a source of incomes while others were stranded. The first part introduces us to the subject of the play as we are introduced to the inclusion period of the author into the border issues. Then, the book proceeds to mention the encounters and expectation of the police at the borders. Thirdly, it introduces the humane perspective which mentions the moral reasoning and compassion which is advocated at the immigration and border. The author concludes by urging people to be their brother's keeper; in fact, he was a victim of migration issues and thus he knew what it entailed. The lyrical journey was important in bringing out the theme and prose of the novel. Authors need to use literary works which build on the flow of their work and the overall meaning. Cantu's story was effective in advocating for compassion and empathy when need be.

Works Cited

Atkins, William. "The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu Review? Life As a US Border Patrol Agent." The Guardian, Guardian News and Media Limited, 2 Mar. 2018, Accessed 10 May 2018.

Cantu, Francisco. "The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border." (2018).

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