Is War Cool?

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ALWG Journal Prompt

Prompt: "Look back to the short "New York City, 1998" prologue that begins this memoir. What is it, exactly that Ishmael's friends find so "cool" about his past? Do you think his friends, after reading this book, would still feel that way? Do you think American children, in general, think war is cool? Explain."

Some people want what they can’t have, but do not think of the reality of it. Ishmael’s friends think it is so “cool” that “he saw people running around with guns and shooting each other” but do not understand how dangerous and traumatic it actually is. They probably found the fact that he saw fighting firsthand mind-boggling. War is just a fantasy in their minds. For Ishmael, war is an unpleasant truth to be avoided at all costs. Ishmael’s friends think it’s something they would love to do but I don’t think his friends would still feel that way after reading Beah’s memoir. They would understand the hardships and obstacles that Ishmael had to go through just to stay alive and to meet up with his family again. His friends would realize that the shortages of food, the dangers of walking in the open, and the risks Ishmael takes to escape the war is not something to be proud of. They would apprehend that war is certainly not “cool.” In general, I think American children thinks that war is something that shouldn’t be joked around with. They have had dads or brothers go off to war in Iraq so I think they understand how damaging war can be to our lives. American children know war is not “cool” and that it is in fact the opposite. Sure, they might find it honorary to fight for our country but I don’t think they would take war so casually or lightly and sum it up in “cool.” Due to America’s current wars and deaths every day, American children would think war is devastating and horrible.
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