A Long Way Gone Essay

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Abby Leavengood
HWL P. 5
9-26-12
A Long Way Gone Essay

In Ismael Beah’s A Long Way Gone, violence and child soldier’s struggles is a major and common point. These passages were heart wrenching and difficult to get through. Beah went through a lot of hard times but he survived and pulled through with incredible strength and courage, even when that was not an easy thing to even think about doing. I believe that even though violence is an awful thing that no child should have to endure, I learned a lot through Beah’s awful experiences including war’s injustices and the importance of hope and courage.

Ishmael Beah discovered that the only way he could continue on and stay remotely strong was through the use of drugs. I was able to understand that well not through my own experiences of course, but because I cannot imagine any other way of making it through those situations. Taking some form of drug to change your state of mind and allow you to zone out from your surroundings seems like a somewhat logical solution to enduring war as a 15 year old boy. I also learned how impossible it would be to not be addicted to these drugs and how painful the recovery process would be.

Through Beah’s book, I also learned that the recovery process of some traumatic experiences can be a living hell. Breaking his drug addiction, learning to trust people again and stopping his persistent nightmares were not easy tasks. I am thankful for people like Ester and the other nurses for having a strong heart and will to help young people with these conditions. Child rehabilitation centers are truly amazing facilities. Dealing with children who have suffered severe, life altering, mental damage must be heart breaking and challenging. I admire the staff and especially Ishmael Beah for their persistence to not give up and their amazing courage.

Finally, through Beah’s memoir, I learned that hope and courage can always shine through even the most challenging situations. Beah, who...
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