INK(pgs. 112-185)

“ It means a sterilization program at the inkatoriums before they’re shut down.”

“You’re shitting me.”

“I’m not. The inkatorium closet to the Canadian border has pioneered the program we’re thinking of adopting. They’ve been running it for the past six months. It’s pretty cost effective since it uses implanted rods to release the sterilizing agents subcutaneously. By the time the rods disintegrate and are absorbed into the body, the effects are irreversible. It’s testing at about three months after implantation at the moment. And 96 percent efficacy.” (p.118)

This conversation really stood out to me because Doctor Watkins the reporter from the Gazette is revealing what they plan on doing to Finn. When she is asked: “ What made you decide to give this to the Gazette? Aren’t they going to know you leaked it?” (p.118) Her response was: “ Maybe I don’t care.” (p.118) This got me thinking what’s her real motive? I thought she was up to something. Why would she just spill out what the Gazette is doing? Something is fishy about this. If she really doesn’t care about the Gazette finding out about the information that she is leaking ; then why is she still working for them if she’s against what they are doing.

But this is like the climax of the story. This is how this video got viral. “ Abbie’s already sitting at the computer. She turns the screen to me without a word, We’re the top vid on YouTube. Digg. Yahoo.” (p.121) This makes the reader question and want to know what the public will do to help once they know about this information. What’s next? Can they do something to stop the sterilization program at the inkatoriums? But at the same time this can cause them a lot of trouble for them. What happens when the Gazette finds out? Are they going to threaten them to get rid of this video? A lot of questions arise in the reader’s head. This makes the reader interested in finding out what’s going to happen next. Therefore, keeping the reader active and engaged.

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23 thoughts on “INK(pgs. 112-185)

  1. I think of all the things that happen in this book, this may be the one that stands out in readers’ minds the most when the book is over. The things done to the inks clearly escalate in severity, from morally questionable at the beginning to downright crimes against humanity by this point in the book. The reason the sterilization program was started in the first place is also really important. It became clear to the government that keeping inks imprisoned wasn’t justifiable financially and wasn’t justifiable to voters and they would have to close the inkatoriums. However, they wanted to make sure that the ink population wouldn’t increase and started sterilizing men, women, and even children. The questions that readers should be asking themselves, which you mentioned, definitely keep readers engaged and wanting to continue to find out what happens to the inks and the characters in the story that they’ve been following so far.

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  2. I like how you try to analyze Dr. Watkins’ motivations when revealing all of this to Finn. Why would she reveal this information? I think that maybe she has gotten to a point where it doesn’t matter to her whether she is found out for leaking the information. It’s also possible that her suddenly leaving her work after the information leaked would leave no doubt whatsoever that she was the one to reveal the information to the Gazette.

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  3. I enjoy that you highlighted the conversation between Doctor Watkins and the reporter when they begin to talk about what they are going to do to Finn. It makes the audience look more into the situation and the possibilities. The angle of what the Gazette can do and who is the source of information is very intriguing and I feel will definitely add suspense until the conclusion of the book.
    -Nicole Crippen

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  4. I agree that this particular passage is very important to the story, as it introduces the sterilization angle into the already anti-ink environment. The sterilization program seems to be a very big step, in that previously the government settled for forced deportation and internment, measures that imply a desire to remove inks from the country, now they have moved to attempting to eliminate inks permanently. This is an active attack on inks, one that implies hatred rather than distrust.

    -Justin Wright

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  5. I was also interested in this part of the book. I found the fact that the inks were basically more fertile than non-inks very interesting. I personally wonder why that is. The contradiction to me is that the purpose of the sterilization program is to control the ink population by rendering them infertile, yet there are people who are willing to adopt the ink offspring. In fact, there are people who are willing to pay large amounts of money to adopt an ink child. The government seems to think that they own the bodies of the inks, which is strange because they don’t want anything to do with them in general. They are so cruel that they decide that normal contraceptives aren’t effective enough, so they think that it would be more effective to just permanently change their bodies for our benefit. It’s just sad that the value for life goes down so low.

    -Serina Thomas

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  6. I know it may be cliche and overdone, but you cannot ignore the Nazi implications of the atrocities done by the government of the film. And the way that the general population just goes along with such terrible acts, either out of ignorance: “This is normal now.” Or whatever, with the disturbing some that actively support it. I think it works as a testament to the influence of fear and bigotry on a population. The reveal of John’s true character in Abbie’s chapters shows just how little inks are thought about as people, with Tono being used as a sexual bargaining chip. And the reveal that Abbie’s mother is as deep as she is in the inkatorium makes her, and the reader, sick to our stomachs, but for her, this is just a job. And that is the real terror.

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    • I agree that the parallels here are strengthening even further, and it would be very difficult to cast this as accidental. I think we must pay attention to the ways in which this story seeks to draw a past that we like to hold as distant closer to our own present. As the story unfolds, we first notice how close the particular cultural biases that give rise to this effective genocide are to our own, and then even more horrifically how close it is to a Holocaust we universally abhor. The syllogism is quite effective in making its point.

      From here, we can examine other ways that this book links our present to this past. We already have many leaders that exploit difference and create fear of the “other” in order to maintain their own power. While the level of rhetoric rarely raises to the level of racial supremacy that Hitler espoused, Ink cautions us not to get too comfortable, not to tell ourselves it could never happen here.

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  7. I think that this quote and this scene is really important to the story. Not only does the reader find out that inkatoriums have been sterilizing the inks that come through, but we also see the characters come together in order to produce the video that they post online. I found the sterilization aspect really alarming because there were videos of young children getting sterilized. On the other hand, I liked how Finn and Abbie got close during this section even though they are different people from different backgrounds.

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  8. This passage is really eye-opening in the sense that, as the story progresses, the government implements harsher regulations to unfairly control the Ink populations. From the inks having to wear tattoos to riding certain buses at certain hours to being escorted to the inkatorium whenever a slight health hazard takes place, these human beings are undoubtedly discriminated against. This excerpt, however, displays the acme of all the horrible prejudice that the Inks face: the sterilization of inks. This evokes the audience’s sympathy for the Latinos and causes readers to wonder why they aren’t allowed to just use contraceptives-or if the population is enormous, limit the children to 1 like present China does? I also would like to add how Finn’s reaction, “Are you shitting me?” reveals his surprise and maybe even his disdain regarding the treatment of the inks. I agree with you about the doctor’s statement. The doctor’s indifference regarding her release of the information is befuddling to the readers and makes them wonder what her true intentions are.

    Nicole Schmalz

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  9. I think that by Dr. Watkins leaking the information about the sterilization to Finn shows that she cares for the inks. It seems like she wanted the information to be public so that society becomes aware and educated about what is really going on and how the inks are being treated. It is somewhat of a disgrace that people considered this act normal and okay, the inks were terribly mistreated and it’s a good thing Dr. Watkins wanted to make the information known.

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  10. I found that as I continue to read this book, I grow more and more confused about how “Americans” really view inks. Aside form government regulation and segregation, a lot of the characters that we interact with don’t seem to have a huge problem with individual inks. There are inkatoriums, but no real reference about people in the town staying clear of inks out of fear of catching something. To me it was beginning to seem like a vast majority recognized that inks were human, just like everyone else, didn’t really agree with the way they were being treated, but also recognized that it was “normal”. This scene with Dr. Watkins kind of supported this feeling for me. She cares about inks and disagrees with the system enough to leak information about the sterilization program, but she also realizes that injustices like this have become such a norm, that trying to do something herself would gain her ridicule. The entire public needs to do something in order to make an actual difference.

    Siri

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  11. I think this passage does a good job at reminding the reader that Dr. Watson is human and not just one of the people who thinks that Inks are “infected”. Much like Abbie’s mom (or atleast we think), a worker at the inkatoriums or a worker for the government in general does not exactly have to believe in the system because really they are doing what they have to do to be able to put food on the tables. Maybe Dr. Watson leaking the information was her way of risking her reputation to be able to do what it is right, which is what gives her a more human characteristic.

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  12. I like that you highlighted this scene, as it introduces this new appalling atrocity of the inks being forcibly sterilized. Despite the number of awful things that have already been done against the ink population up to this point in the book, this stands out as something particularly horrifying and shocking for the reader, as well as the other characters. However, the idea of the inks being forcibly sterilized also immediately made me think about the fact that many Latina, black, and Native American women were forcibly sterilized in hospitals and prisons in the United States during the late 1800s and early 1900s. As terrible as the thought of the inks being forcibly sterilized is, it directly parallels something that actually did happen to Latina women during our history. The depth of the discrimination that the inks face becomes all the more horrifying as you realize just how plausible much of it truly is.

    -Marjorie Eyong

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  13. This passage adds to the perspective of the society and government since it shows how they want a world without any inks, and it symbolizes their “impurity” and the “stain” they have on this world. Finn’s comment ” You’re shitting me ” really portrays his disbelief of how far the government will go to try to eradicate the Inks as if they were an evil or worthless species. The moral questions from this passage begin to arise to the reader, since the government is preventing any Inks from having a family and kids that they can love. The term ” cost effective” in this context really stands out to me because it makes it seem as though the government does not want to spend much money on ridding the Inks from this world because spending on them would be a “waste”.

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  14. This passage is important because it truly shows the length the government is willing to go in order to rid their country of Inks. Finn’s reaction to the sterilization program is a representation of anyone who doesn’t discriminate against the Inks. He is interesting because he learns to detest the government for their treatment of the Inks. Dr. Watkins leaking this information is crucial because it shows that people are realizing the government is being extremely unethical.

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  15. I believe that this passage in the story is very important. It makes the readers question all of the possibilities that are to come before the book comes to an end. It’s somewhat shocking to me how they treat the inks so inhumanly, a sterilization program is a such an act of desperation to rid the country of the inks and the government really will go to any lengths to make this happen. It makes me think of all the terrible ways that some races in this country are treated or have been treated like in the past.

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  16. How horrifying. The U.S. government is planning to sterilize the ink population and the process works almost all the time. As others have mentioned before, this is reminiscent to the Nazi experiments in the Holocaust. It must be mentioned that before this passage, Finn states how expensive running inktoriums can be and states that “…something’s going to give; just about the time the state budget has to pass” (Vourvoulias, 114). The government wants to get rid of the inks even after the inktoriums shut down. The sterilization program reminds me of the eugenics programs from not so long ago, a tragedy that should not have happened. Finally, about the sterilization video going viral was not unexpected but considering the footage was edited, I wonder what the government would say to protect themselves.

    Jiapeng Zhao

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  17. This passage from the store stuck out to me when I was reading, I made the connection of the sterilization program and the nazi concentration camps while reading as well. It is disgusting how inhume these people were being treated. I loved that you analyzed this conversation because it gives a really good into the book, and it leaves readers with a lot of questions about what is gonna happen at the end of the novel.

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  18. This is clearly the epitome of ink-hatred in the novel. Before this it was simply about keeping them out of the rest of society(inkatoriums and border dumps). These, while terrible, left the inks alive and relatively healthy, however this sterilization is just short of active extermination. It would mean that inside a generation there would be few if any inks left

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  19. Bringing up the fertility of the inks has many parallels to how many look at immigrants today. One of the big fears some have in this country is the loss of political power once the population shifts and whites become the minority. This idea of sterilizing inks probably comes out of the idea that immigrants have dozens of kids and really begin to take power away from whites. These is also a cheap shock value to this passage that is not very appealing, however your analysis of Dr. Watkins is interesting.

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  20. This part of the novel was interesting to me too, mostly because I felt like this was the climax as well. It seems as though this was the point at which the ink hatred is most apparent and they went from not just keeping them out of mainstream society, but actively trying to exterminate them. it seems as though the hatred of Inks has gone from acts of casual racism and keeping them in places like inkatoriums to genocide. I did notice the Nazi Germany parallels as well; the fact that there were actual sterilization plants to cleanse the population is probably an intentional reference to the concentration camps of the time. This makes it seem like the government is willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of them.
    -Jimmy Nolan

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  21. There’s an immense gravity in the scene you chose, for a few reasons. On the rear cover of the novel, the summary of Ink begins with the phrase “What happens when rhetoric about immigration escalates…” Looking at what we discussed on Monday, many of the actions taken on inks by the government can be seen as amplified forms of common modern-day gripes on immigration that most US citizens will recognize: “You’re in America, speak English.”; “Won’t they just go back where they came from”; “Why are OUR tax dollars going to THEIR…”…etc.

    In this moment, the escalation reaches its apex with hints of a final solution, which may draw its roots from immigrant children born in the US being granted naturalization. Forced sterilization is genocide, and the beginnings of a racial purification of America.

    More than ever I think this moment drives a point home: although many frustrated Americans will often have these thoughts on immigration without acting on them, and they are seemingly harmless – they have the potential to perpetuate dangerous paradigms within ourselves and society.

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