When looking at the idea of a tattoo, it easily said that identity and external and internal travel are easily part of the art form. In the essay and the short story, it can be see that the boy has grown up. It is not easily visible but it is through the actual tattoo that readers can learn this concept. For instance, the boy is shown to have the mentality of a child, constantly worried about others think. For instance, he is with the old man and he constantly bombards him with questions. He continues this childish play with Samsonia and how he trying to be around him and impress him. These little acts exemplify and really how readers to visualize how our young selves act. It shows the innocence in the things we would do. When the Tagi appears, the boy continues to be interested and becomes inquisitive the stranger. He sits next to him and constantly attempts to understand what he is thinking. It is through the tattoo that he grows up. Earlier in the story, it is mentioned that a prisoner of the prison is a rapist. When a person is raped, the act incorporates a person using brute force to put a sexual act upon someone taking away his or her choice and innocence along with it. In a way, the rape, to a certain extent, of the boy occurs with the cross on the hand. The boy wishes to receive the tattoo by his own free will. With the tattoo, his innocence leaves and this is shown when he returns to his mother and asks the question of who died on the cross. When he asks, he can tell the mother is upset but that doesn’t bother him, rather he is grown up and wishes to know more. He wants to continue growing.
With Wendt’s essay, he explains the story by showing tattoos as an art form and what incorporates tattoos. With tattoos comes this sense of gaining an identity. With gaining a tattoo, you show the external and internal change that a person is going through. Physically, tattoos will change the skin and appearance of the person. Inside, the tattoos are engraving a person’s history and all that accompanies it. The tattoos show how we have chosen to show our identity and display it to the world. We have made a choice to grow up and accept the person we are. With the essay, he gives a better and more technical understanding of what the boy went through. With that cross on his hand, he is now wearing his identity and what will define him. Jesus and everything that Jesus stands for will be tagged along with the boy. He made the choice to show the world that change he has gone under.
With such a strong belief in tattoos, it is easy to see why we must pick the images carefully as they come to define who we are and show others what makes us, us. In understand ourselves and going through the internal travel to grow and discover the identity, then it becomes easier for us to pick an image that we will be proud to wear as the call sign for us and what we stand for.