A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
In the world there are some kids who never get to have a normal childhood because their nation is so war torn and poverty stricken. These kids often not only lose their childhood but their innocence as well. A Long Way Gone shows how children are forced to fight in a war they do not want to be a part of. Although some of these child soldiers are fighting to save their nation, most of them are either programmed or forced to fight in a war that dehumanizes them.
Young boys are taken from their home and families and forced to fight for the rebel forces. “They have carved their initials RUF (Revolutionary United Front), on his body….” (20). These markings are from the rebel soldiers who capture young boys and force them to fight. Once a boy acquires these markings he is not safe anywhere; if he tries to escape, the rebels kill him or if he does escape the civilians kill him because he wears the rebel marking. Since these kids have been marked with RUF their only chance of survival is to kill, and take from civilians, like the rebels took from them. They do things that seem immoral and barbaric but to them it is what they are meant to do because of how the rebels brainwashed them. Because of these brain washings Ishmael claimed that he was left a dehumanized killing machine.
The boys fighting in the army were fighting in honor of their family. These boys including Ishmael felt that the reason for their family’s deaths was because of the rebels. Ishmaels Lieutenant often claimed that “the rebels are responsible for everything that has happened to you” (113). Because of this these boys had a reason to fight, so they could avenge their family’s death and end the war that has affected their nation. Ishmael traveled across Sierra Leone to reunite with his family and when he came close the rebels took it away. All Ishmael wanted was to see his family one last time even if it’d kill him. When the rebels caused this to never...