A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah

1264 Words6 Pages

In the book “A long way gone” Ishmael Beah takes us on a journey through his rough childhood. He was 12 years old and just like other boys living in Sierra Leone at the time, at the age of 13, he became a child soldier. In his journey to escape the war. he had lost and gained people. Running from the rebels, and being taken in by villagers mistaking him and his friends for rebels, he finally made it to Yele. A village most thought was safe, ended up being where he would be recruited at. Ishmael and his friends got used to this harmful lifestyle surrounded by violence and drugs. After months of fighting for revenge, the lieutenants picked some of the younger boys to be rehabilitated, and they became infuriated. They were forced to grow up and …show more content…

“There were more than thirty boys there, two of whom, Sheku and Josiah, were seven and eleven years old” (Beah 109). These were babies fighting for their lives, being dosed up with all kinds of drugs. Even Ishmael, he was recruited at the age of 13. Not only did this war affect child soldiers but the other kids that had no protection. “One of the main aims of the rebels, when they took over a town, was to force civilians to stay with them, especially women and children”( Beah 24). Innocent children were targeted, no way to defend themselves. They used kids as shields from the military. As there were many child soldiers, there were many child rebels. Both knew no …show more content…

I thought that war was between adults and killing those who had done wrong. But after reading I realized it was just hatred. How could they kill such innocent lives? Babies have to see their families killed, being left on their own. Rebels were killing, raping, etc all for their enjoyment. This book made me angry, I kept putting myself in replacement of Ishmael. I imagined what it would be like to run away for days on end being alone or seeing my friends die in front of me. I put myself in the place of others as Ishmael told their stories. This book made me realize that even though I don't advocate for violence I understand Ishmael's want for revenge. “Visualize the enemy, the rebels who killed your parents, your family, and those who are responsible for everything that has happened to you”(Beah 112). I realized I would have been no better than Ishmael. If I had lost all my friends, and my family and could hurt the person or people that started this, I would. This book changed my perspective on the phrase “fighting fire with fire”. I used to think it was bad and it won't solve anything but bring more violence, but this book made me realize I would not have been thinking rationally under those circumstances. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to read this book. It has opened my eyes and made me realize how privileged I am. Ishmael Beah did a great job telling his story. He got his point across and succeeded in

Open Document