Revenge In Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone

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Revenge Isn’t so Sweet
“While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself,” says Douglas Horton, an academic leader. A Long Way Gone shows us a story of revenge when a young boy gets swept up in a war after his family is killed at only twelve years old. Ishmael Beah in the novel A Long Way Gone illustrates that revenge is never the answer when he joins the army out of spite, loses his humanity in the war and struggles to forgive himself after his journey.
Initially, Ishmael joins the army when he learns of his family’s death. He believed joining the army would get revenge for his family. Revenge is never the answer relates to this because, Ishmael joined the army to seek revenge on those who killed his family. He was so consumed by
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Throughout Ishmael’s journey he very rarely slept without medication. When he would sleep without medication, he would be haunted throughout the night by memories of the war. Revenge is never the answer relates to this because Ishmael was running from the pain inside of himself, but that pain that had only grown since his quest to avenge his family. What Ishmael didn’t realize is that finding revenge for what had happened to his family wouldn’t ease the pain inside of himself, it would only worsen the pain. Ishmael lost his humanity in the war because he lost focus of what was truly important, like…show more content…
Half way through A Long Way Gone Ishmael is sent to a rehabilitation center where he was given food, shelter and care and a safe place to sleep. But even though Ishmael had left the war; the war didn’t leave him. Revenge is never the answer relates to this because, learning how to forgive himself was a war of its own. Ishmael’s desperate quest for revenge caused him to commit many horrible actions. Ishmael’s childhood will forever be haunted by memories of the war, memories he can’t run from. Eight months after rehabilitation Ishmael had the opportunity to fly to New York to talk about his experience saying, “I am not a soldier anymore; I am a child. We are all brothers and sisters. What I have learned from my experience is that revenge is not good. 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…” (Beah 2007 pg 199). Ishmael learned from his own experience that revenge never gives you the justice you are searching for. Getting revenge doesn’t bring anybody back from the dead, it doesn’t fix any problem and it doesn’t heal the pain inside of you. Readers should take this lesson to heart because, we don’t have to learn the hard way like Ishmael; we can learn
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