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A Long Way Gone Literary Analysis

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Weapon Conflict Throughout history, humans have used literature as a way to express emotions, feelings, and tell intriguing stories. A Long Way Gone, a memoir written by Ishmael Beah and “Weapon Conflict”, a song performed by Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars are two differing pieces of literature that render powerful messages about the menaces of war that these authors have faced. In the 1990’s, war broke out between harsh rebels and the corrupt government of Sierra Leone. Beah and the members of Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars have different, yet effective ways of telling their stories about the horrors of Sierra Leone. Nevertheless, A Long Way Gone, expresses the true dangers of war more effectively than “Weapon Conflict” because it goes into …show more content…
This memoir evokes feelings of melancholy throughout each page of the story, as it illustrates the pain of the war in Sierra Leone. Beah writes how during wartime he spots, “a man run to the sidewalk, where he vomited blood. When he stopped vomiting, he began to cry. It was the first time I had seen a grown man cry like a child, and I felt a sting in my heart. When he opened the van’s door, a woman who was leaning against it fell to the ground. Blood was coming out of her ears. People covered the eyes of their children,”(Beah 12). Not only does the gore accentuate the pain the civilians had endured, but sting that Beah feels after he sees a grown man cry. In Beah’s culture, it is socially unacceptable for men to cry, but during the horrific times even the strongest men felt hurt. Not only does this memoir prove that many citizens are facing plague, but it also shows how children and soldiers are being brainwashed into getting used to this horrible gore. During Ishmael’s journey, he “sees two dead bodies that make me [him] want to vomit. One of the soldiers smiles and says, ‘You will get used to it. Everybody does,’”(Beah 100). A child having to get used to the sight of death is severely scarring, and “Weapon Conflict” does not nearly show these detrimental realities as A Long Way Gone does. Yet a final example of how Beah’s memoir better shows the truths of war in Africa is when he shows the mental effects that the war had on himself. He explains that his own shadow would “scare me [him] and cause me [him] to run for miles. Everything felt awkwardly brutal. Even the air seemed to want to attack me [him] and break my [his] neck,”(Beah 49). This vivid imagery tells readers exactly how war could mentally affect the children and cause mental damage that may never be repaired. These quotes are of many instances in this memoir where readers can

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