Essay on a long way gone by ishmael beah

  1. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Essays
  2. A Long Way Gone Essay ⇒ Free Book Summary

Long Way Gone study guide contains a biography of Ishmael Beah, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Essays

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Ishael Beah - A Long Way Gone

The conflict was to last through most of the s and, in common with the civil war in Liberia, became intimately linked with the use of child soldiers. According to the United Nations, there are ,, if not more, child soldiers around the world.

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The majority of these children - some as young as six - live and fight in sub-Saharan Africa , and their plight has largely been ignored by the west. Beah's book stands as a vivid testament to his time as one of the nameless and faceless , While it is certainly not the first autobiography of a child soldier, Beah's position as a member of Human Rights Watch, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities at 26 gives his book authority in speaking for a thoroughly disadvantaged group.

After fleeing from rebels who sacked his village, getting separated from his older brother and friends, surviving alone in the forest and evading execution, Beah - at 12 - was inducted into a government corps of boy soldiers. He was told by a charismatic lieutenant with a fondness for Julius Ceasar: "If you do not want to fight or help, that is fine. But you will not have rations and will not stay in this village This is your time to revenge the deaths of your families and make sure more children do not lose their families.

As he takes us through a life of battles, promotions and unfathomable acts of cruelty, we almost forget he is only a boy. It is only when he writes that "we all wanted to be like Rambo; we couldn't wait to implement his techniques", that the horror and despair of his situation, the mix of innocence and maturity that is a child soldier, hits home. His rehabilitation was not, and could never have been, easy.

A Long Way Gone Essay ⇒ Free Book Summary

He had to overcome an addiction to drugs, sleep through nightmares of his own violence and relearn how to live in a society that was itself emotionally scarred by the war. It seems almost frivolous to discuss Beah's style, but it would be unfair to him to ignore it. His writing is effective but lacks the beauty of other writers who have lived through harrowing events. Its language is clumsy at times and some chapters flow without pause for reflection on the significance of events discussed.