Child Soldiers In Beah's Long Way Gone

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A child, not any older than 13, walks through the remains of a city. With an AK-47 in his hands and cocaine in his system, he is alert and ready to do what he has to in order to survive. As he walks through the gravel and sees civilians crying on the ground, he remembers his family, his friends, and his other lost loved ones. This child grows sad yet angry at the same time--he wants vengeance. The next thing he knows his commander is standing at his side giving him one simple order: kill. You are surely aware that child soldiers have been used for centuries. Today, they fight mainly throughout Africa, South America, and the Middle East in countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, Israel, Columbia, Syria, Libya, and more. Experts believe thousands…show more content…
On DebateWise.org it is stated that some kids join because they live in poverty and will otherwise starve to death. They feel like they don’t have any choice but to join. Other times they are convinced being a soldier will be safer for them, that they will be safer when they’re the ones behind the gun, not in front of it. In Ishmael Beah’s “Long Way Gone” he describes how during the civil war in Sierra Leone, rebels would march into cities and chose the children who seemed the strongest. Many times the rebels would then force their newly recruited members to kill weaker civilians in the city. Any child would be terrified in this scenario, which is why they follow their orders. Even though not all children are forced into fighting, they are still too young to fully understand the life-changing decision they have made. Some children enlist because they seek revenge. In Ishmael Beah’s novel he states, “I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I 've come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end...” Children who decided to fight for revenge are not in a stable situation after they are angry and heartbroken. This quote proves that surviving is the main priority to child soldiers, so they do things without processing the

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