A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah Essay
1205 Words5 Pages
In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah, a former boy soldier with the Sierra Leone army during its civil war(1991- 2002) with the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), provides an extraordinary and heartbreaking account of the war, his experience as a child soldier and his days at a rehabilitation center. At the age of twelve, when the RUF rebels attack his village named Mogbwemo in Sierro Leone, while he is away with his brother and some friends, his life takes a major twist. While seeking news of his family, Beah and his friends find themselves constantly running and hiding as they desperately strive to survive in a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. During this time, he loses his dear ones and left alone in the…show more content…
The memoir is written mainly based on the following themes:
The first and most important theme is war is hell. The horrors and tragedy that Ishmael relates to the reader are almost unbelievable. The atrocities committed against innocent civilians give new meaning to the idea of war as well.
The second theme is: there is always Hope. In spite of all the terrible events in Ishmael’s life, he finds a way to overcome everything and find love again and meaning to his existence again.
A final theme tells us when everything else disappears, there is always love. Ishmael learns this the hard way. He has a kind of family unit with the soldiers that actually carries over into the love and friendship between him and Alhaji. Then, there is the love of Uncle Tommy and his family and their willingness to make Ishmael a son and a brother. Finally, there is the love of people like Esther and Laura who accept him unconditionally and welcome him into their homes when he most needed help and love.
The book was published by Sarah Crichton Books in 2007. Despite the several feuds that took place with the newspaper, The Australian, questioning the truthfulness of the memoir, the author denied the allegations, issuing a statement reaffirming that his book was true, and that he wrote it based on how he remembered it and continues to stand by it as such. So till date, the contents of the book remain unchanged.
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A Long Way Gone Argument Essay examples
990 WordsMar 21st, 20134 Pages
December 5, 2012
A Long Way Until The End of This Essay
The author of A Long Way Gone argues against boy soldiers but also against the loss of innocence. Beah’s parents are burned alive by the rebels; this is the first step towards his animosity towards them. In his story he talks about snorting brown brown, shooting men and how he was slowly corrupted by the men around him, turning him into a machine. It tells the story of a world as horrendous as any imagined by the darkest of fiction writers. However, upon completion of the book, I have realized that I have made a journey from darkness to redemption along with the author. Look in the book where the UNICEF officials are dehumanizing the…show more content…
Despite the violence caused by the children, one of the staffers, Nurse Esther, becomes interested in Ishmael, learning about his childhood love of rap music. As a gift Esther gets him a rap cassette and Walkman, when she takes Ishmael and his friend Alhaji to the city. It is through this connection and his numerous counseling experiences with Esther that Ishmael eventually turns away from his violent self and starts to heal from his mental wounds. The second part of the book takes an uncompromising look at the difficulties this entailed for the boy soldier and his peers, who for a long time resist the most determined efforts to restore their humanity, their anger at having been taken from their family. Children are meant to be protected from violence and war. They are extremely vulnerable both physically and psychologically, to abuse and misguidance. They are easily influenced by those around them because they are young and incapable of forming independent opinions. Adult soldiers at Ishmael’s base were snorting brown brown and smoking marijuana, Ishmael, as naive as any child would be, was influenced by these people and looked up to the adults as role model and leader and so he began to do it as well. “I took turns at the guarding posts around the village, smoking marijuana and sniffing brown brown” The job of a soldier is to fight wars, to take lives, to kill if not be killed. If these children are taught hatred