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Ishmael Beah Innocence

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In A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, Beah is an adolescent whose innocence is stripped away at the hands of war. At the age of 13, Beah is forced to fight in the war in order to survive, or give up his battle and die. As a result, Beah ultimately decides to join the war. The harsh violence that Beah is exposed to strips him of his innocence and leaves him helpless and alone with his mind keeping him awake at night trying to unsee the cruelness he has been exposed to. Beah utilizes flashbacks, symbolism, and nature motifs in order to address the loss of his innocence throughout the novel. Throughout the novel, Ishmael Beah uses flashbacks as a way to address the loss of his innocence. When Ishmael Beah has to partake in murder of other innocent people, his innocence is taken…show more content…
He says “these days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past” (20). Ishmael Beah is struggling internally with his haunting dreams of his new life, and the dreams of his old life that he wishes he could return to. Just like his home country is under convulsion, so is his mind and heart. Beah has a nightmare that then triggers him to remember his family that is lost at war. He remembers his father saying to him “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die” (54). The words of Ishmael 's father help galvanize Beah to continue on his journey although it is harsh and unbearable. Beah is struggling with depression and isolation, but the words of his father give him a sense of hope and light at the end of the tunnel that he will survive. The war was harsh, and the cruel and unjust treatment of the soldiers causes Ishmael Beah to live his childhood in fear and discomfort. He exclaims that “we were always either at the front lines, watching a war movie, or doing drugs. There was no time to be
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