A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of A Boy Soldier

Topics: Sierra Leone Civil War, Military use of children, Peter W. Singer Pages: 2 (563 words) Published: December 19, 2012
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of A Boy Soldier By Ishmael Beah
The privilege of being a child is only a lost dream to children in places like Sierra Leone where they are forced into joining rebel and militia groups. The children in those groups learn how to shoot guns when instead they should be learning how to ride a bicycle. In Ishmael Beah’s memoir, A Long Way Gone he speaks about his time during the war and being recruited as a child soldier. Ishmael goes through numerous life changing events and commits awful things during his time in fighting in the war. Ishmael however is able to leave his horrible lifestyle behind, obtain his humanity back and start a new beginning along with the rest of society. Beah manages to withstand the effect of the horrors of war by accepting the loss of his family, and beginning new relationships with people such as his newly found uncle and Esther the nurse from his rehabilitation center. The following quote, “When I was young my father used to say, ‘If you’re alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die’ I thought about these words during my journey, and they kept me moving even when I didn’t know where I was going. Those words became the vehicle that that drove my spirit forward and made it say alive.” (Beah, 54) is an example of how Ishmael slowly begins to let go at the loss of his family by remembering them as he slowly makes his way away from the war. By reliving memories Ishmael manages to mourn at the idea of never seeing his family again, this helps to keep him sane so the anger doesn’t eat his humanity away.“She threw a package at me. I held it in my hand, wondering what it was and why she had gotten it for me. She was looking at me, waiting for me to open it. When I unwrapped it, I jumped up and hugged her…” (Beah, 154) The previous quote demonstrates how with simple gestures...
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