Essay PreviewMore ↓
Lines and Shadows, by Joseph Wambaugh, tells the story of a group of regular San Diego street cops assigned to a task force designated to stop the victimization of illegal aliens by bandits in a hellish no-man's land near the Mexico-United States border. The officers soon realize the issue may be too big for regular street cops such as themselves, and many must deal with the psychological, emotional, and social conflicts caused and manifested by the events that occur during their mission.
Lines and Shadows, by Joseph Wambaugh, tells two stories simultaneously. One takes place at an imaginary line between two very different economies. The other takes place at the imaginary line between sanity and madness. Both of these imaginary lines are crossed as a result of the San Diego Police Department sending a task force of young officers, most of whom are Mexican-American, into a no-man's land south of San Diego known as "Deadman's Canyon", located near the Mexican border. Their function and purpose, they are told, is to arrest bandits that are victimizing illegal Mexican immigrants crossing the border into America.
The main theme of the book can be realized in the epilogue when is states "they did it the only way they knew-not ingeniously, merely instinctively-by trying to resurrect in the late twentieth century a mythic hero who never was the Gunslinger." (Wambaugh, 1984, p. 382)" The message the author attempted to convey is, simply put, police were never meant to be action heroes. In my opinion, he is telling a story of what happens when law enforcement gets too caught up in the "crime fighting role" of policing. Wambaugh conveys this by revealing to us what happens to each of the members of the task force the more they go out into those canyons.
How to Cite this Page
"Lines and Shadows by Joseph Wambaugh." 123HelpMe.com. 23 May 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Exposure of the Shadows: An Analysis of Joseph Conrad’s Manipulation of Light and Dark Beckoning readers closer, the gloomy foreboding of a mysterious darkness has typically been indicative of an antagonist or a horror that is to follow, and the glory of a shining light has signified a positive connotation. The pair is often utilized to express an author’s ideas and theme and Joseph Conrad uses the two paradigms liberally in his interpretation of European colonialism in Heart of Darkness. While Conrad employs the typical binary of light and darkness as positive and negative forces, respectively, he also challenges this notion by exposing the contradictions of misdeeds done in light and the... [tags: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Colonialism]
1210 words (3.5 pages)
- The choirboys by Joseph Wambaurgh is it a depiction of how ten urban police officers cope. This novel is a dark and powerful comedy with the ending of a tragedy. Five sets of Los Angeles Police Department officers on the night watch at Wilshire division come together after patrol at MacArthur Park and rewind from the past day. Spermwhale Whalen and Baxter Slate partners of 7-A-1, Sam Niles and Harold Bloomguard partners of 7-A-29, Spencer Van Moot and Calvin Potts partners of 7-A-33, Calvin Potts and Francis Tanaguchi partners of 7-A-77, Roscoe Rules and Dean Pratt partners of 7-A-85.... [tags: Police, Constable, Police officer, Suicide]
1347 words (3.8 pages)
- None Escape Their Shadow: Cody Blunt’s The Master of Shadows Cody Blunt’s piece titled The Master of Shadows represents the assassin, Zed. This art piece was created in 2013 for the company Riot Games as the digital concept art for the character Zed. This piece can be found displayed as a representation of the character in their popular multiplayer online battle arena, League of Legends. In The Master of Shadows, Cody Blunt uses complementary colors, value, saturation, tenebrism, shape, and a small variety of different lines to capture the resting energy of Zed and provides a serene and mysterious interpretation of a lifeless city.... [tags: Color, Light, Color theory, The Shadow]
1314 words (3.8 pages)
- DARK SHADOWS It would not be hard to argue that Tim Burton has lost some of his magic in the last few years. Granted his bank account has grown considerable in this period especially since Alice in Wonderland. It seemed that financial wealth had paved the way to creative bankruptcy. Films like Charlie and the Chocolate factory and Planet of the Apes had shown that the director was less willing to take a chance instead trying to adapt his "quirkiness"" to already established properties. Trailers for Dark Shadows provided hope of the director 's return to form showing hints of both Beatle juice and Edward scissor hands.... [tags: Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Dark Shadows]
787 words (2.2 pages)
- OED defines diaspora as “the dispersion or spread of any people from their homeland”. This notion of 'homeland' and whether this helps to form your cultural identity is problematic, as we question who or what defines you. Is it really true that home helps fundamentally form your sense of self and your conception of identity and therefore your cultural identity. If you have a sense of self does that help form a strong cultural identity. Do we need to have 'real' territory to have cultural identity or can imaginative geography and history help intensify ones cultural identity and belongingness.... [tags: the name sake, jhumpa lahiri]
2255 words (6.4 pages)
- Amitav Ghosh’s Shadow Lines challenges our understanding of points of reference by examining the shadowy borders between the self and other’s perceptions of the self. The narrator portrays Tridib’s internal struggle to become a heroic, active figure in contrast to the passive figure that May believes him to be. Ghosh explores Tridib’s attempts to create a coherent self-identity by considering what it means to be considered a success, what qualities constitute a hero, and how one can reconcile the conflict between one’s active and passive characteristics.... [tags: story and character analysis]
2531 words (7.2 pages)
- Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential. -Barack Obama Imagine if you could see a whole city from your home; it stretches as far as the eye can see and has just house after house. Some houses are white, some are red, some are blue, and so on. This seems fairly normal and you might think I’m describing a housing development or something like it.... [tags: class matters, David Leonhardt]
1158 words (3.3 pages)
- Delta offers services to a very diverse range of people. It serves business travelers to consumers who enjoy leisure flights. It’s very family friendly and ranges from all ages of people onboard. Delta flies 170 passengers a year; 82 million passengers have SkyMiles memberships. 82% of Deltas customers are between the ages 25-44. 71% are married and 32% have children. Statistically speaking over 60% of its customers graduated from college with average household incomes of over $100,000 ("Delta Sky Media," 2015).... [tags: Airline, Delta Air Lines, Avianca]
711 words (2 pages)
- Claude McKay's "Harlem Shadows" During the Harlem Renaissance, the black body was considered exotic and the "flavor" of the week. Society had an obsession towards black women, in general, blackness. However, the white race wanted to listen to their music, mingle with the women, and enjoy the other finer luxuries that the black society could afford. Even the art was captured by this idea of the exotic and contentment in being "black." The masquerade began as members of the white race tried to pass as black and during that experience gain some satisfaction from their own lost and confused existence.... [tags: Harlem Shadows Claude McKay Essays]
1384 words (4 pages)
- Shadows On The Wall by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Dan Roberts: Dan is the main character in Shadows On The Wall . He is constantly seeing and feeling some very strange things on his vacation . Every morning he takes a jog very early around Micklegate Bar . He also makes a new friend on his journey to York , England . Dan is 15 years old . Joe Stanton: Joe is a cab driver . He and Dan become really good friends . Joe is an old but wise man in many ways . He also takes Dan to see all the sites in York and drives all the people around , but mostly the people staying at the Hotel .... [tags: Shadows Phyllis Reynold Naylor Essays]
2011 words (5.7 pages)
There were several pros and cons regarding the mission of the unit. In my opinion, there were more cons. Some good came out of their mission, especially one event in particular. One night, while they came across a tunnel that crossed the border, they stumbled upon a group of young thugs terrorizing a number of pollos. One thug was about to rape a young Mexican girl, around age 12, while her mother watched hopelessly. Hence the team prevented the rape before it happened. The unit prevented another rape as well, that of a female pollo around age 24 by a bandit. They curtailed alien robberies for a short while, but in the end the robberies continued as before. As word of the task force spread due to much media attention, it did at least give the pollos a sense of hope. It also gave the San Diego Police Department good P.R.
There were many cons of the unit's mission. Lawmen from both countries were shot by other lawmen. The presence of the task force eventually caused bandits to start robbing pollos south of the border before the pollos even crossed. This of course caused the task force, comprised of American police officers, to cross into Mexican territory to continue their mission. Eventually tensions rose between the Tijuana police and the San Diego task force. Since the waking team had to pose as pollos every night they went out there, it became increasingly hard for the officers to jump in and out of role. They eventually started running from Border Patrol just as real pollos would. Since the violence escalated and the unit started to become involved in firefights with bandits and Mexican lawmen, the Sand Diego Police Department had to use time and manpower to send homicide detectives into the canyons to investigate. The presence of the unit caused the bandits to become more violent. They started skipping the foreplay they usually conducted before robbing pollos and cut straight to the chase, often revealing weapons at the time of encounter. Overall, I don't think the mission was worth the time and casualties in police personnel. I support my opinion using the incident where the unit was confronted by two bandits, one of which had a starter gun. The tension rose and the unit started shooting only to result in two B.A.R.F. members to be shot by their own guy.
Many conflicts started to arise within the members of B.A.R.F., both personally and with each other. Their jobs were starting to heavily affect their marriages. Many of them also started drinking very heavily. After going out into the canyons at night to carry out their mission the team would go to the bars until they shut down and would not return home to their wives until late at night. A good example would be B.A.R.F. member Robbie Hurt, who felt it was necessary to drink heavily since he never got to release all the adrenaline build up like the officers on the walking team did. Eventually Robbie and his wife got divorced. Many of the officers started to question the purpose of their mission and their own individual role in it. Many thought about quitting but hesitated because they all feared scrutiny from their leader Manny Lopez. The team members started to lose hope in what they were doing, fearing they would die for nothing. They were often criticized by San Diego police officers outside of the team, sometimes for how they beat down the bandits before arresting them.
Everyone on the unit suffered psychological effects as well. It is important to mention that many of the officers on the squad came from broken homes and rough childhoods. As the mission continued, they each started to develop their own motives for being out in the canyons. It seemed like a unified mission turned into personal vendettas. Hence their purpose of helping the plight of the pollos was clouded. Some of them continued because they felt as if they had to prove something to their lost fathers. Manny Lopez himself did it because he felt he could do anything he wanted in the canyons, a no mans-land with no laws to abide by. After experiencing intense firefights and witnessing their teammates get shot, the psychological effects started to manifest in each of them. Some of them began to realize that this was not a job for street cops. They seemed to grow increasingly distant from each other. Many of them felt a sense of betrayal, but none of them could indicate whom their betrayer was. In the end three members had to undergo psychological counseling.
I believe that the officers, after serving on B.A.R.F., would be prone to violent tendencies when returning to perform regular police work. For many months they performed a job in which they reacted violently toward suspects. They became accustomed to administering beatings and sometimes shootings suspects they encountered. A good example would be Ken Kelly. After returning to patrol, he shot a fleeing van full of teenagers steeling some beer, injuring an unarmed kid. Afterwards he couldn't even explain why he shot, it just seemed that was his natural way of reacting to the situation.
Lines and Shadows gives insight to what happens when cops play gunslingers. It emphasizes the emotional trauma and the resulting inner and outer conflicts when police officers are asked to step outside the lines and react in situations they are not accustomed to. These situations can result in severe psychological effects and problems in all aspects of their lives.
Wambaugh, J. (1984) Lines and shadows. New York: Perigord Press