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Books: A Long Way Gone And The Bite Of The Mango

1250 words - 5 pages

Disability is a parent in disguised that nurtures and fosters a child through sometimes crippling but always meaningful pain. One's impairment guides him or her to independently to fend for life's basic necessities. Much like a parent, it is responsible for a person's physical, emotional, and mental development. The novels The Bite of the Mango and A long Way Gone narrate two different children's traumatic experiences during the Sierra Leone's Civil War and its aftermath. In the two books, disabilities are generally perceived as negative. Nevertheless, both autobiographies illustrate how a girl's and a boy's contrasting disabilities raised them to mature at a younger age without their parent's guidance. Both The Bite of the Mango and A long Way Gone present each character's disabilities; however, Kamara's diverse disabilities made her stronger than Beah.
Kamara's emotional disability from sensing gruesome murders has strengthened her to plant a positive change in the world. Both characters made a difference in society, but Kamara channeled her strength after seeing, feeling, and hearing pain. Beah physically sees deaths in his own hands from killing others but he is desensitized to murder. Beah is brought up to accept that murdering is a norm and that there is no sympathy in killing people. During the war, he does not have the emotional disability that impaired Kamara. He is unable to rationalize taking innocent lives and therefore, cannot gain moral strengths. In contrast, Kamara is not numbed to this atrocity. Her strength comes from seeing the harsh reality that ignites her desire to change society. Kamara optimistically stated, "We had an important purpose: to help raise awareness of my country's problems" (Kamara and McClelland 121). Her emotional hardships awaken her to better the world. Moreover, another form of emotional disability that delved an influence in her strength is abuse.
Kamara's psychological disability from frequent abuse opened her eyes to hardships and empowered her to view life in a positive aspect. Kamara and Beah experiences abuse differently. Beah abuses drugs, where as Kamara faces social abuse from society. Beah is not socially abused from having no hands, being pregnant, or being raped. Also, Beah's abuse of drug has made him desensitized to his problems and does not allow him to comprehend his depraved actions in killing civilians. Conversely, Kamara senses the pain of her abuse but she realizes the optimistic side of it, which is that she is not alone. Kamara is reminded that there is always a sense of belonging because there are many others who are also emotionally disabled. "There was some comfort in knowing that we shared the common fate of learning to survive and care for ourselves after such a devastating ordeal"(Kamara and McClelland 73). Her family helped her deal with her psychological disability and seek the positive view of it. Besides social abuse, sexual abuse is another form emotional disability...

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