A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier By Ishmael Beah

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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah was published by Sarah Crichton Books in New York on February 13th, 2007. In the memoir, Beah describes his terrifying experiences as a child soldier in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa, during the Sierra Leone Civil War that took place during the 1990s and early 2000s. Despite a confusing, unclear end to the story, the main idea of the account on how war can damage and alter an individual and country in ways never thought possible before is effectively revealed through Beah’s strong, detailed descriptions of war in Sierra Leone, along with genuine and unforgettable words that make you wonder how you could ever complain about your childhood again.
While reading Ishmael Beah’s story, it became quite apparent to me that the main point for writing his powerful memoir was for his audience to discover how war can damage and forever change a human being, as well as a country as a whole in the most unimaginable ways. Within the narrative, there are five major highlights that incorporate Beah’s main idea, as well as its progression throughout the story. The first important passage from the text comes right away, from pages 5-8, where we learn what Beah’s life was like
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Throughout these pages, Beah discusses his journey into becoming a soldier for the Sierra Leone Army. Within a very short time of being exposed to war, Beah had been brainwashed to kill all rebels, raided villages, become addicted to drugs, suffered from insomnia, lost all sense of reality, and described killing as “as easy as drinking water” (Beah 122). I think it is safe to say that war certainly wrecked and altered Beah's life in unimaginable ways, as it turned a gentle, innocent, rap-loving boy into a brainwashed, drug-addicted, killing
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