War is a devastating event which tears nations apart, and causes death and pain in the hearts of the inhabitants. Whether it is the countries strong males being sent off into the battle zones, or the young children, war scars people. Soldiers are dehumanized, and lose all morals and sense of right and wrong. In the book Long Way Gone, Ishmael and his friends are dehumanized through the war because of the traumatic events they endure, and their time spent in solitude away from civilization; luckily, they were able to regain humanity through the love and hope provided from others.
Throughout the novel, Ishmael and his friends begin to those their humanity and become completely different individuals because of their exposure to the war. The children slowly begin to make unethical decisions, and lose all morals and sense of natural right; they were transformed into ruthless killing machines. “Our innocence had been replaced by fear and we had become monsters” (Beah 55). During their time as child soldiers, instead of being educated on how to grow up as a normal, civilized adolescents, Ishmael and his friends were taught how to kill and steal. They were brainwashed into becoming trained assassins, wanting nothing more than to kill the enemy, the people who had destroyed their lives and murdered their families. The boys were told the same would happen to them, if they did not take on the rebels. Army commanders instilled fear into children of the war, they were given a choice, fight to stay alive at whatever means necessary, or die. I didn’t feel a thing for him, didn’t think that much about what I was doing. I just waited for the corporal’s order. The prisoner was simply another rebel who was responsible for the death of my family, as I had come to truly believe. The corporal gave the signal with a pistol shot and I grabbed the man’s head and slit his throat in one fluid motion. His Adam’s apple made way for the sharp knife, and I turned the bayonet on its zigzag...
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