A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah Essay

1183 Words Oct 13th, 2014 5 Pages
The Sierra Leonean Civil War from 1991 to 2001 affected every citizen of Sierra Leone, including children. Ishmael Beah is a man who was caught in the war as a child, and forced to both witness and commit acts of violence as a child soldier, as expressed in his memoir. The role of violence in the memoir A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah is to portray the theme of loss of innocence through the comparisons and contrasts of violent acts while Ishmael was running from the rebels, during his time as a child soldier, and after his experience in the Sierra Leonean army.

The role of violence is first shown through the comparison of Ishmael as he is running from the rebels to the families who are trying to escape the war and stopping in the mining area where Ishmael lives. When people who had seen the war came to the mining area where Ishmael lived, Ishmael describes them using hints of their anxiety and fear, such as the children refusing to look the villagers in the eye and the people jumping at sounds that were normal to Ishmael. This behavior is expressed through the quotation, “The children of these families wouldn’t look at us, and they jumped at the sound of chopping wood or as stones landed on tin roofs flung by children hunting birds with slingshots… Apart from their fatigue and malnourishment, it was evident they had seen something that plagued their minds, something that we would refuse to accept if they told us all of it” (5). The violence shown in this behavior is…

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