Kids start out uncorrupted and pure. (Except for your annoying little brother.) If you've ever talked to a little kid, you've probably marveled at how naturally sweet, trusting, and innocent they are. They think good things will happen to them; they love to play; they assume that people are nice and that they'll be taken care of by adults; they don't have to worry about grownup matters. When that doesn't happen, whether because of family conflict or social problems, that carefree innocence is lost. Their childlike worldview is gone, replaced by Reality.
In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah is only 12 years old when his home village is attacked and his childhood is turned upside down. He was safe and secure, but now all that is over. Gradually, Ishmael is forced into all kinds of adult situations that he's just not ready for. His entire childhood is stolen by the war. After experiences like his, that innocence is gone forever.
Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
Though Ishmael tries to reclaim some of his lost childhood after the war, he can never fully get back what was taken from him.
Ishmael turns his lost innocence to good use—to help counsel others about the dangers of war.
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah Essay
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In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah, a former boy soldier with the Sierra Leone army during its civil war(1991- 2002) with the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), provides an extraordinary and heartbreaking account of the war, his experience as a child soldier and his days at a rehabilitation center. At the age of twelve, when the RUF rebels attack his village named Mogbwemo in Sierro Leone, while he is away with his brother and some friends, his life takes a major twist. While seeking news of his family, Beah and his friends find themselves constantly running and hiding as they desperately strive to survive in a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. During this time, he loses his dear ones and left alone in the…show more content…
The memoir is written mainly based on the following themes:
The first and most important theme is war is hell. The horrors and tragedy that Ishmael relates to the reader are almost unbelievable. The atrocities committed against innocent civilians give new meaning to the idea of war as well.
The second theme is: there is always Hope. In spite of all the terrible events in Ishmael’s life, he finds a way to overcome everything and find love again and meaning to his existence again.
A final theme tells us when everything else disappears, there is always love. Ishmael learns this the hard way. He has a kind of family unit with the soldiers that actually carries over into the love and friendship between him and Alhaji. Then, there is the love of Uncle Tommy and his family and their willingness to make Ishmael a son and a brother. Finally, there is the love of people like Esther and Laura who accept him unconditionally and welcome him into their homes when he most needed help and love.
The book was published by Sarah Crichton Books in 2007. Despite the several feuds that took place with the newspaper, The Australian, questioning the truthfulness of the memoir, the author denied the allegations, issuing a statement reaffirming that his book was true, and that he wrote it based on how he remembered it and continues to stand by it as such. So till date, the contents of the book remain unchanged.
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