Changes In A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah

1424 Words6 Pages

Day by day, children are facing acts of inhumanity that are occurring around the world. This causes these kids to become different people who change in negative ways. Such acts are being mentioned in the books Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick and A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. Never Fall Down is about a boy named Arn who survives the Cambodian genocide, and A Long Way Gone is about the author’s experience as a child soldier fighting in the Sierra Leone Civil War for three years. Arn is eleven years old before the Khmer Rouge come to his home, and he is a kind and playful young boy at the time. Ishmael was a teenager who loved to listen to rap music and dance with it alongside his friends and younger brother Junior. As these boys face …show more content…

In Never Fall Down, Arn’s personality alters from originally being a kind, friendly boy into a ruthless beast that yearns to kill or cause harm. As he says in the book, “At the corner, five black-pajama soldier stand, smoking cigarette, on a lookout. They’re young, these guys, so I say, ‘Wanna play?” (Never Fall Down 11). The boys that Arn refers to are Khmer Rouge soldiers, but Arn does not know that, and he would not have cared then. Being kind to other people is part of Arn’s personality, which is a good thing. He shows this kindness to the soldiers because he asks strangers to play with him. Unfortunately, the Khmer Rouge gets rid of this attribute in Arn. Additionally, the author writes, “I don’t do what this tiger in my heart is telling me to do; kill these kid,” (Never Fall Down 195). Instead of being like his old self, Arn changes, and now wants to kill the boys in his school instead of being kind to them. His personality has altered from being friendly to ruthless. In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael faces similar changes. As it states in the novel, “We didn’t have enough time to thank her and tell her to thank her son for his hospitality,” (A Long Way Gone 65). The protagonist shows kindness and gratitude for the adults who give him and his friends protection. This demonstrates Ishmael’s manners are initially proper and are being used appropriately. However, after his years of being a soldier, he has lost these manners and become rude to other adults. Beah writes, “As soon as they started speaking, we would throw bowls, spoons, food, and benches at them,” (A Long Way Gone 138). The boys and Ishmael are being astonishingly rude to the adults in the rehab facility daily, who are just trying to save them from themselves. Instead of thanking them, the boys abuse the adults because of some false belief that they are meant to be respected. In brief, the changes in personality of the

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