Masculinity is a socially constructed characteristic of being a male. According to Shepler in Youthscapes, “children are moving from a blunt kind of power to a power legitimated through international structures; one them to take on certain identities”(pg 131). In the case of the child soldiers in Sierra Leone they take on certain identities in order legitimize their masculine power. in ALWG Ishmael Baeh describes how the war processually constructed his masculinity. The war took everything from him and other children which fueled their motivation to join arms. He describes how he and other boys were left with nothing, while searching for refuge they were recruited into becoming child soldiers, then they were then drugged and forced to become dependent on their units for drugs and acceptance. …show more content…
They were also desensitized by watching each other commit violent acts. And Rambo was also constantly played for these boys, which normalized war. When ishmael baeh was released from the military and rescued by UNESEF he was upset because he would not get to be a solider anymore and he no longer knew what he was supposed to do. this shows how deep rooted this need to participate in the war becomes for these boys. This sense of masculinity is not consistent through ishmael story because he develops a new mindset and set of ideals once he was shown his potential. this is an example of Butler’s theory that social construction of gender and gender identity can change over
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The biography, A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah, tells the story of a thirteen year old boy who spends his childhood being compelled to fight in the civil war in Sierra Leone. Ishmael Beah tries to avoid fighting for the rebels by running from town to town with his friends as the rebels advanced. Finally, his luck runs out and Ishmael Baeh is forced to serve in the civil war for the rebels. The story goes on to describe his horrific childhood as a soldier in Sierra Leone and his eventual rescue by Unicef and rehabilitation center. In this passage, Ishmael Beah created a mental image that allows us to visualize how disturbing and how unreal living in wartone Sierra Leone during the early 1980’s.
For example, after being captured by the rebel group, Ishmael is forced to almost kill his brother for his initiation. Although he was fortunate enough to escape that tragedy, Beah was still later separated from his brother, Junior, and never saw him again. It’s things like this can can destroy a man’s character, and once that character is finally destroyed, that’s when you are most vulnerable. You dont know who you are anymore and you must take on a new face and persona. This is how I believe Ishmael fell so quickly to the acts of war.
The war to Ishmael was simply an issue extraneous to him and far away from his home. He sees people coming from his village were escaping from the rebels leaves his home village, Mataru Jang and for the first time, he gets a shock from a man covered with his son’s blood and a woman who carrying her dead baby on her back. He does not know if his family is alive or dead. He was a boy who never had been through the unexpected situation without learning how to weather the situation. All he could do was “listen[ing] to rap music, trying to memorize the lyrics” (Beah 15) to avoid thinking about the situation at hand.
Throughout the war, tens of thousands of people were massacred. The book Memoirs of a Boy Soldier exhibits how a war can drastically change and affect mass amounts of individuals, manipulating their fragile culture. Beah lived a fairly average life before his country was ravaged by war. He attended school, had friends, and was passionate about rap music and dance.
Living in a world where violence is commonly seen on the news, we have grown accustomed to these events. The fact that countries are always fighting with one another, has made human beings more accepting of violence. Although the images of people being slaughtered, or murdered can be alarming, it is often viewed without any remorse. Furthermore, the agonizing effects that war has on civilians can negatively impact the rest of their lives. After reading the novel, “A long way gone: Memoirs of a boy solider” written by Ishmael Beah, the effect that war had on the civilians was excruciating and unforgettable.
Additionally, gender as part of one’s identity is socially produced through repetition
Therefore, making it evident of the before and after of the war, no one at that age would be disrespected before the war, which made the effects of the social norms evident. They are continuously reminded of the rebels that killed their families and that they are inhumane. The theme of the horror of war is prevalent throughout the novel as Ishmael and the other boys face
In the beginning of the boy's rehabilitation, they caused chaos. Ishmael wrote, “It hadn't crossed their mind that a change in environment wouldn't immediately make us normal boys; we were dangerous and brainwashed to kill.” (Chapter 15, page 135) They became accustomed to committing horrific killings so when they were taking out of the war they did what they been doing for the duration of it.
One of the effects of war is the loss of normal human interaction, not only with families with ordinary strangers. When Ishmael is roaming the forest alone, he comes across a family in a lake. They are very weary of him because of the boy soldiers that have been recruited. Ishmael said, “It was clear from the tone of his voice that he didn't want
Every night as the moon shines over the camp he vividly remembers the bloody body of his father and mother silhouetted against the moonlight. Next day a few people in combat dresses wearing red bandannas told them that his parents were killed by the army and he was taken after a three-day walk to a camp where he was taught how to shoot rifles and how to use a dagger to chop off heads of the “feudal forces”. He was twelve then and for the next six years he lived a
My childhood had gone by without my knowing, and it seemed as if my heart had frozen” (pg. 127). The soldiers in Ishmael’s village had made them fight so much, that killing has become virtually all they know. They had essentially been brainwashed, for they had not yet become capable of making their own choices. Therefore, they do not hold responsibility for their actions and shouldn’t be viewed as monsters, but rather as children who didn’t know any
The contemporary representations of male masculinity are usually formed in electronic visual media, in particular, television, which promotes a certain image of a typical male. The history of the United States has left traces on the racial and cultural stereotypes. That is why mass media promote different views of how white and black men look and behave. In 2007 I joined the United States Army, and attended basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. As a young private in basic training I met fellow soldiers from all over the world, many with very different backgrounds than that of my own.
it told how the trip was there and how they stopped at towns to show other people what they were doing etc. they it told about a battle named Bull Run and it told that they didn't run away they simply just stood back up and walked in line as they retreated into the trees and in the morning they went back out there and fought some more and they went and found out that the rebels left at nighttime or early morning, it also showed how scared they were by saying that most of the soldiers peed themselves. then it showed that they didn't fight for a long time because they were in winter and it was to cold to fight. no life in the army was not what he expected and he joined at a very young age he was supposed to be 18 but was like 15 or so and he watched many people die or get sick just like he did it wasn't a deathly ill kind of sick
On the contrary, Judith Butler emphasizes gender as social norms. As a philosopher, Butler draws from psychoanalysis and literature. She claims we all detach ourselves from our attributes and explains what the trouble with gender is: it is a social construct; looks at what we put importance on, and it has strict binaries. Butler presents the idea of gender as performance or gender performative; to say gender is performative, means it produces a series of effects. The phenomenon produces and reproduces all the time; she makes a controversial claim that nobody is born one gender or the other.
That there may be instances that literature as these could be regarded as classics and will forever be in the minds of the people. Then again, Butler views gender as what we 'do ' in a given situation rather than 'who we are ' as people. What other people perceive of women does not define them as a whole, rather as performativity, as Butler calls it. These performances that people all put on every day. She states that there should be more choice and variability in how a person presents him or