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.
Ishmael’s dreams are typically violent and often terrify him. His nightmares typically consist of violence consistent with what he experienced in Sierra Leone. As he describes: “these days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past” (Beah 20). While his dreams remind him of the horrors of war he encountered, it helps him cope with the issues of his childhood. As a result of his dreams, he is able to accept his treatment in Sierra Leone, while moving past his early tragedies and start a new life.
This article discusses in detail Beah’s journey as a boy soldier. The article comments on Beah’s feelings, experiences, and reactions when he had to lose childhood and become a child soldier. The article focuses on the point how Beah and children like him become a victim of child abuse due to a civil war.
The use of children in the Sierra Leone Civil War was widespread, with up to 10,000 children taking part in the conflict and up to eighty percent of RUF forces between the ages of seven and fourteen. Ishmael is one of these children. In his memoir, A Long Way Gone, Lieutenant Jabati and his men exploit several techniques to transform these frightened children into ruthless killing machines. They do this through the use of drugs, pop culture, as well as character and emotional manipulation. Tactics like these create habits and addictions that are almost impossible to break.
The impact of war can have very harmful effects on people, especially children. In “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah, he explains the war of Sierra Leone from his point of view. The tragedy of losing his family, becoming a boy soldier, and the effects of war is said throughout the book, making it an interesting story to read. But, while Ishmael explains what he went through, it is hidden that other people were affected by the actions he took. Although Ishmael did play a victimizer, he was also a victim at the same time.
Following the life of Ishmael Beah in his autobiography, A Long Way Gone, readers experience how a young boy adjusted to drastic changes in lifestyles. The first- and perhaps more marked- change in lifestyle was when he became a child soldier in the Sierra Leone Army. The second was when he was taken away to be rehabilitated by UNICEF. Although there are several important components in both Ishmael’s life at war and his life during rehabilitation, it is his relationship with fear, how he deals with trauma, and his character in general which significantly share resemblances in each of the two mentioned lifestyles. While these changes might seem otherworldly when juxtaposed, there actually are many similarities
Some people call them instincts, but others call them natural tendencies. When people are under pressure, what drives them to make the decisions they make? The novels Night by Elie Wiesel, and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah help demonstrate why people choose to do certain things. Hope for better circumstances and fear of what could possibly happen is what forces people to make the decisions they make.
How would you feel if you were recruited as a soldier during war? Since 2001, the participation of child soldiers has been reported in 21 on-going or recent armed conflicts in almost every region of the world. The importance of this is portrayed in Ishmael Beah’s memoir A Long Way Gone. The author believes that innocent kids should not be selected to fight as soldiers, lose their innocence killing people, witnessing violent scenes and suffer because of war. This is seen throughout the symbolism of the novel.
While Beah was fighting, he was given drugs to make him feel more energetic and fierce. “Stopped only to eat sardines… sniff cocaine, brown brown, and take some white capsules. The combination of these drugs gave us a lot of energy and made us fierce. Killing had become as easy as drinking water.” (Chapter 14) After inhaling these drugs, they didn’t receive the typical euphoric high. As a result, they went out to fight and were not fazed by the killing of other human beings. He feels as he is invincible and not capable of death and suddenly is no longer afraid of the idea of dying. The drugs made him angry undemandingly, so he went out to fight and did his utmost to settle the army leaders. These drugs basically numb them to the violent acts they are about to pursue to make them
“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose”(Arnold). In the book a long way gone a boy named Ishmael beah tells his story. In this novel Ishmael’s village is eventually raided and he becomes on his own. Through being on his own he thinks of the past and memories of a better life. These memories that he thinks of can hinder him and help him along the way through his journey. Memories are shown in the novel when he is alone, when he is in survival mode and when he is not doing anything.
I have recently read A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a well written story about his transformation from a young boy to a child soldier. He was taken when he was just a little boy, still enjoying his childhood and forced to fight and murder people. This isn’t the only transformation that I have seen when reading this amazing story. I see his transformation from a child to a soldier and a soldier to a civilized adult, something he struggles with a lot. In this essay, I will be telling you about the transformations I seen while I was reading this novel.
The human condition is full of paradoxes and double meanings. We can commit the most shocking and terrible acts, but we can complete the most virtuous and honorable feats. Ishmael Beah describes the appalling and violent behavior he and other children exhibited toward the human life during his time in the Sierra Leonean civil war in his memoir, A Long Way Gone. Beah also details the forgiveness and kindness of complete strangers that helped him become the man that fate meant him to be. Homo sapiens are complex creatures brimming with irony and surprises. Paradoxes are not only shown in A Long Way Gone, but also illustrated in other pieces of literature such as short stories, essays, and articles.
In the book, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, the reader can gather certain information about the story he told. The point of view of his story truly affects the reader’s understanding. Also, Beah included details that defined his experience and changed his life. He also wrote his memoir with an emotion that drove the story. (Conclusion)
Liam O’Flaherty’s realistic fiction story, “The Sniper” takes place in Dublin, Ireland. The main character is a sniper fighting a civil war. He is on the Republican side who is fighting against the Free Staters. He does not put a lot of thought into his actions and it ends up costing him something big in the end. By using irony and description O’Flaherty shows that action without thought can lead to serious repercussions.
Irony may appear in difference ways within literature. Irony changes our expectations of what might happen. It can create the unexpected twist at the end of a story or anecdote that gets people laughing or crying. Verbal irony is intended to be a humorous type of irony. Situational irony can be either funny or tragic. Dramatic irony is usually an over the top, tragic form of irony. Both Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” are great examples of an ironic situation. Every expresses the common theme in their own way. Although both of these literally pieces provide us with the theme of irony, Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" gives the reader a sense of suspense with the irony that proves to be more effective.