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Child Soldiers Essay

702 words - 3 pages

A Long Way Gone: Examples of Bravery
There is estimated to be 250,000 child soldiers in the world. They are forced to kill and mutilate people, sometimes their own families. In the memoir A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah recalls his experiences as a boy soldier, and the impact it had on his life. Ishmael met many people along the way that helped him in his race to find safety. These people were very brave and took many risks for his safety. The people Ishmael show along the way show bravery many times.
Early in the memoir, Ishmael and his friends showed bravery when they decided to sneak back to Mattru Jong in order to get the money that had left behind. At this point in the memoir, Mattru Jong had been overtaken by rebels, so returning to this particular village meant that ishmael and friends risked being shot, mutilated, or forced to become boy soldiers. However, without that money they would not be able to buy food and would face ...view middle of the document...


The imam showed courage when he refused to tell the rebels where the others were hiding. At this point in the memoir, if a person didn’t give the rebels what they wanted, you would be killed. If the Imam would have told the rebels where they were hiding , most of them would have been killed, including the imam. So either way the Imam would have died, so he died in honor. Remembering this horrifying experience still haunts Ishmael to this day as he recalls “The rebels captured him and demanded to know what parts of the forest people were hiding in, but the imam refused to tell them. They bound his hands and feet with wire, tied him to an iron post, and set his body on fire” (Beah 44). The imam had to remain strong in order to save the tribe. The imam was a very brave man and he showed great courage and strength in a desperate time.
The nameless fisherman showed bravery when he didn’t tell the boys his name for both of their safety. At this point in the memoir everyone was really on edge. The village couldn't find out that the boys were staying in the fisherman’s hut because then they would think that they were soldiers coming to kill them all. If the village found out the boys would be killed. The fisherman showed great kindness by letting them stay with them and heal, but it backfired later, as Ishmael recalls the experience. “I asked out nameless host what we should call him. He laughed softly. `It is not necessary. This way we will all be safe’” (Beah 63). The fisherman was very wise when he didn't tell the boys his name, it proved to be helpful later on. The fisherman was a very brave man who was very kind for letting the boys recover at his home.
There are many people that have a lasting impression on Ishmael for their bravery; the imam and the nameless fisherman are just a few. Ishmael shows bravery when he goes back into his old village to get money and food. The imam is brave when he doesn’t tell the rebels where the villagers are hiding. The fisherman’s bravery saves Ishmaels’ life when he cares for their wounded feet. The issue of child soldiers is a worldwide problem, with the increased amount of awareness we can stop these terrible acts and help children like Ishmael return to their normal lives.

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