Throughout this unit on personal narrative, I have begun to contemplate on the significance of my past and how it has shaped who I am today. “Scar Tattoo” is about my experience from the surgery that I had received when I was nine. The story strongly focuses on the theme of perseverance, which is a trait that I possess.
“Scar Tattoo” is about the internal conflict that I had faced after getting a surgery on my wrist. This story includes many literary techniques to depict conflict and characterization.
Throughout the entire piece, there are words that indicate a change in color to highlight the conflict. At the exposition of the narrative, the repetition of the adjective “white” has a positive connotation that relates to purity, which establishes a calm mood to portray the situation before the conflict had started. Nevertheless, as the story progresses to the rising action, the inclusion of the hazy setting (“ghost-grey smoke”) with anaphora (“no Sun, no light, no nothing) builds tension by creating a somber mood to foreshadow the readers about the conflict. To help the readers feel my internal conflict, I have utilized juxtaposition (“coal-black” and “snow-white”), repetition (“harder”), and a semantic field of words that relate to violence (“battle,” “war gun” and “dragon”). Furthermore, the verb (“slashed”) and the personification (“smiling”) at the end of the story makes the resolution become more relatable and engaging for the readers. Finally, through the alliteration (“shimmering star Sirius”) at the resolution, the ‘s’ sound creates euphony, which allows readers to feel a sense of closure to the story.
Similarly, through the use of visual imagery, I have shown both direct characterization (“navy blue bow” and “pitch-black nail polish) and indirect characterization (“my eyes locked with my mother’s) to portray my annoyance from the conflict as well as to render upon the theme of perseverance. Meanwhile, through the use of dialogue (“‘Ugh!’”) and the verb (“chucked”) that moves the plot forward, it creates a sense of pathos to evoke the feeling of empathy to the readers as the audience can sympathize with my frustration. Moreover, the italics (“Absolutely fantastic”) and the style of utilizing incomplete sentences (“Ew.”) with colloquial language (“deets”) makes the story more engaging for the readers as the tone from this allows the audience to see the contrasting traits of myself.
Let me make a bet with you.
I bet I have one thing that no one else in the world has: my scar. My one-of-a-kind scar. It’s not like those typical scarlet-red ones that disappear or those bumpy kinds that are formed after itching a mosquito bite. My scar is around 4 cm long. Sorta big. But it’s not conspicuous cuz it’s on my right wrist. Its creamy color fits well with my skin. Like an exclamation mark, the blemish goes vertically from my wrist and down with a tiny dot at the end.
My body is quite strange. Okay, that sounded strange. But when I was like nine, my parents took me to the doctors because they had realized that there was an extra bone near my wrist. Super weird right? At that time, my forearm didn’t look like a camel’s back with its lump that shot towards the sky, but my doctor claimed that as I age, it might become like such.
So I was forced to have a surgery to remove the bone. This meant that I couldn’t go to school for around four days. But I LOVED school! School meant that I could trade my vibrant and stretchy silly bands with my classmates and it meant that my friends and I could wear our Justice tie-dyed shirts while we hopscotched around the polluted playground with our Skechers Light-Up shoes. School also meant that every Friday, my friends would come over to my house to watch Hannah Montana. Oh, how I wished that I could be like Hannah, where I wore a wig to replace my chestnut brown hair to a golden blond hairstyle that glimmered wherever and whenever.
Anyways, I’m not going to give you all the deets about my hospital experience cuz honestly, I don’t remember a thing. I mean, I kinda do…But not really. All I remember was that I was captured in a white room. Like a super white room. The room was so milky that it probably would have made snow look like it was colored. Even the mummy-like cast that wrapped my upper limb was in this pallid color. That was it. Just white. Very plain. Kinda boring.
I guess I could have made my time at the hospital a bit more interesting by actually doing something. In fact, I actually offered my help to the doctors. But they just rejected my assistance. Sure, I could have whined or cried or begged or have done something. But eh. Why would anyone intentionally want to endure obstacles? Not me, for sure. Persisting through troubles is just so tiring, ya know? So yeah, I was pretty much captured in a cardboard box. There was no way out.
After four days, I was finally able to escape the prison. However, as China’s notorious smog greeted me with its toxic particles, I immediately wanted to go back. There was no Sun, no light, no nothing. Unbelievable.
The next day, I skipped to school with my ivory backpack that was covered with black hearts. Of course, my chubby face was protected by my pollution mask. Behind the ghost-grey smoke, the scorching honeycomb medallion hid behind the pollutants. Aiya. The fog was so severe that by the time I got to my classroom, my wavy sepia hair that had once smelled like coconut had turned into the scent of chemicals. Ew. Great. Absolutely fantastic.
During class, I used my black butterfly pencil to start writing.
The jumbo-shrimp sized stick from my hand twirled to the edge of the table. My inky, brown crescent eyebrows folded in together as my cherry lips were bitten by my pointy teeth.
Suddenly, my friend Zoey shrieked: “Angela, this isn’t art class. What is that?”
“I….tried to draw an exclamation mark…” I squeaked. I began to play with my nails that were covered with my glossy and inky manicure. Meanwhile, my hazel brown eyes pretended to be interested at the dragon rug on the floor.
“Totally. That definitely looks like an exclamation mark.”
I forced my ruby mouth to give her a faint smile. Thanks Zoey, I really appreciate your honesty.
I hate to admit this, but Zoey was right. What was I doing? My writing resembled a tangled yarn that a cat had spit out. I stared at my scar. I touched my scar. I pinched my scar. I’m usually not one of those people that blame others for my problem; nevertheless, in this case, I swear, the scar was the root of this.
As my pencil kept playing this foolish game with me – which by the way, was not fun at all – my blemish unleashed howls of chuckles. I’m not crazy. Okay? I’m not crazy. I know that scars don’t mock people, but believe me, I actually heard the waves of waves of laughter.
Hence, I was determined. I was going to draw a perfect exclamation mark to prove my scar wrong. I have to confess, this sounds foolish. But hey, I was only nine.
As soon as I got home, I continued to practice. Yup, that’s what I did. No shame.
I tried to draw a coal-black straight line down the snow-white paper; however, no matter how slowly I moved my hand, the ebony pencil would run away. Molten lava boiled within me.
“Ugh!” I chucked the jet-black stick onto the floor.
Like the cadence of an electric machine war gun, hasty steps struck to my direction. My mom declared: “Angela, stop. You need to rest your hand.”
“Please, honey…” My mom pleaded as she took away my pencil.
My eyes locked with my mother’s. “This scar is not going to stop me. I’m not going to stop. Mom, please let me continue. Please…”
Tick tock. Tick tock. After what seemed like centuries, my mom jutted her lips.
The battle with my scar had begun. White knuckles formed around the dark pencil. Heat blazed out of my head, while a sea of frustration was about to erupt.
My chubby fingers squeezed harder; my underbite clenched harder; my smooth face squinted harder.
Outside, the murky air became thicker and thicker. Gloomy fumes wrapped around the starless sky, leaving the bare road consist of nothing except the haziness of the apocalypse.
With the faint light from the dusky streetlamps, my window mirrored my room.
The once pristine carpet became sprinkled by the specks of pitch-black nail polish that I had managed to peel off. My hair resembled a jungle as the floor had snatched away my navy blue bow that had once held my cocoa-colored hair. I looked like a wolf child. Despite this, there was no stopping me.
One day at school, Zoey squinted her eyes as she looked over my shoulder: “Wow, that exclamation mark looks exactly like your scar.”
Up above, the Sun had finally slashed out from the dreadful clouds. With its flaming lemon light smiling to my face, I looked at the paper and my scar. Zoey was right! I was so focused that I didn’t take a step back to see what I was doing. As the golden rays shined onto me, I felt like the shimmering star Sirius. I had done it! I had finally done it!
Now reader, this may seem silly to you. Like what’s there to be proud of a third grader that had written an exclamation mark? You are completely right. But for me, the experience from enduring the troubles turned out to be way memorable than anything.
I’ve come to realize that during this entire time, the scar did not scoff at me. Instead, its existence had prompted me to persist. The blemish had completely altered the way I now approach to new challenges. It marked the starting point of a new journey; my worst enemy had become my best friend.
I bet I have one gift that no one else in the world has. I’m extremely fortunate because this phenomenal present will forever be tattooed in my life.