Benjamin JeffersMs SandblomDecember 19, 20179th World Literature The novel Barcode Tattoo, written by Suzanne Weyn, describes Kayla Reed, a 16-year-old girl as she embraces a new law which requires her to get a barcode tattoo on her wrist. However, in the story her barcode tattoo causes her father to unexpectedly acquire schizophrenia, a disease that causes hallucinations, which forces him to kill himself. The author has shown in this novel that the Barcode Tattoo is a warning to us by showing the future society of 2025. She shows this by describing a dystopia where everyone over 17 must get one of these tattoos or they can be arrested by law enforcement. The Barcode Tattoo tells us that there are conflicts of interest when politicians have personal interests that interfere with private companies, governments take away rights from people who are arguing or rebelling and force them to hide, and using technology that no longer can be trusted will lead to a dystopian future that we do not want.First, the book explains Global 1, the company that replaced the post office and provided the Barcode Tattoo to 17-year-olds who do not have them. The President, as the CEO of Global 1, enforced a new law through Global 1 to have everyone over 17 get a tattoo or be arrested.
His personal interests are first shown in the KnotU2 article on page 16 saying the president is the CEO of Global-1 so he can control most of the world’s food supply and has some pretty serious power. ” It’s even on our country’s leader. Our current president, billionaire Loundon Waters, was one of the founding members of Global-1. It’s clear that he’s only concerned about increasing Global-1’s fortune and power.
He couldn’t care less about our liberties or freedoms. All he and his “advisers” care about is maintaining global domination to secure their obscene wealth. If you think I’m paranoid, consider this: Global-1 already owns all of the food in the world. No kidding. The entire world! All the food!” (Weyn, 16). This quote shows that Loundon only cares about Global-1’s current and future state, not of the American people.
Another example is on page 45 when the barcode tattoo is required by law. “BARCODE TATTOO NOW REQUIRED BY LAW. In a stunning surprise vote, the Senate approved President Loundon Waters’s bill requiring all citizens to be tattooed with their personal barcode on their 17th birthday. Washington, DC. May 19, 2025– By a slim margin of four votes, the Senate approved President Waters’s proposed legislation requiring all Americans aged 17 and above to acquire the barcode tattoo originally sponsored by the president’s Global-1 Party… Speaking from Rose Garden this morning, the President stated that this step will keep the United States current with international fiscal policy and make international banking a more fluid process.” (Weyn, 45). To conclude, Loundon had a very tight connection with Global 1 through the novel that took his attention away from the Presidency.Secondly, the government had been taking away rights for people who didn’t have the tattoo, disposing of other forms of currency and forcing them to put all of their information on it, even stuff they didn’t even know they had.
This is shown on page 20 when Amber fills out Kayla’s barcode form. “‘Okay, but don’t thank me. Your papers have already been filled by moi. You are about to become a code carrying member of the adult world!” “You filled a barcode application for me?” In reply, Amber shrieked.
“I’ll be waiting for you outside my house. Be there at nine sharp.”‘ (Weyn, 20) Amber got her information, so couldn’t anybody else who had her barcode? Why couldn’t Kayla refuse the barcode from her friend? In conclusion, anyone’s information could be anywhere and they could not even realize it.Thirdly, The book explained how future technology cannot be trusted by the American people. As shown by Kayla’s father killing himself, her mother self mutilating her code off and getting killed, Toz and Mava getting killed by disobeying the barcode authority and Amber’s Parents’ barcodes not working and being declined at stores, this shows that this is a danger not only to them but if the barcode becomes a thing later, it could mean dangerous things. When Amber is moving to Nevada on page 28 when she says that none of their parent’s stuff if working and that they need Amber in order to get there. “Amber pressed her forehead on Kayla’s shoulder as sobs shook her body.
“I have to go with them,” she spoke through her tears. “‘They need me or they’re not going anywhere.” “What do you mean?” Amber held out her wrist. “This is the only barcode that works at the gas pump.
” “Are you kidding?” Kayla cried. “Don’t they have e-cards?” “They didn’t work when they tried them,” Amber replied. “My code works, though. Dad had his last e-deposit sent to my account. Mom dumped all her accounts into it, too.” She laughed miserably.
“Hey, they’d better be nice to me. I have all their money.” “This is so banged out!”‘(Weyn, 28) Another example is on page 72 when Toz had been killed and Mava had been arrested for helping Kayla Escape the government. “Toz!” Mava screamed. Toz grabbed the wheel and hit the electric speed pedal. Then he slammed forward onto the steering wheel. A cement wall that bordered the toll lane loomed in front of them. Mava grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it, riding the car along the wall on two wheels for seconds, and then glass shattered as the car smashed onto its side and slid.
Kayla flew forward, hitting the windshield. From somewhere a siren howled. “Toz,” Mava sobbed, leaning on her husband.
“Toz, wake up.” Toz lay slumped over, not responding. Mava’s head was bleeding and Kayla cringed at the unnatural angle at which the old woman’s arm hung. Strobing red lights passed over them as Global officers cars screeched to the scene of the accident. “Kayla,” Mava cried. “Are you all right?” “Yes, I think so,” Kayla replied. “Then get out of here now. Run.
You can get away.” “I can’t leave you!” “You can’t help us. As soon as they take us to the hospital, we’re dead. Toz is dead now.” Mava’s blue eyes held Kayla in their gaze. “Quickly.
Go.” (Weyn, 72) In conclusion, the barcode had caused many problems with people close to Kayla. In Conclusion, The barcode tattoo shows us how society should be warned. Although the book was published in 2004, most of its properties can still be affected today, 13 years later, such as politicians with interests in companies, Such as Donald Trump and The Trump Organization. The same thing goes with the government taking away rights such as freedom to have different opinions and decisions.
The tattoo had also caused some serious loss in Kayla’s life, such as her parents, Toz and Mava, and Amber(who moved away.) In conclusion, the book showed how we can improve our future and our current society as a whole, and not end up what Weyn described in her novel.