In A Long Way Gone and A Bite of the Mango, two devastating stories are told about the civil war in Western Africa that involves young children. Ishmael Beah is a prime example of what that war did to children. Beah turned from an innocent child and became a killer. Mariatu Kamara, a sweet young girl, became a victim. Though Beah and Mariatu both had different lives, they are linked by their loss of innocence and family structure. The loss of innocence helped to create the amazing human being Ishmael Beah has become more than his family structure or lack thereof did.
A Long Way Gone is the true story of Ishmael Beah, a twelve year old boy who is sucked into the war in Sierra Leone at the ...view middle of the document...
Although Ishmael Beah was also a villain of the war, he was mainly a victim. Being force fed multiple drugs, he turned into a monster. Losing all of his family friends due to death and displacement still did not stop him from losing all hope in life. Through losing his innocence Beah became a great person. When given a true shot to succeed, he pounced on the opportunity and became an extraordinary example of how powerful the human spirit is.
The loss of innocence was initiated when she was forced to say she enjoyed seeing a mother and her baby killed by a rebel. Soon after this event occurred she prayed for death. Ishmael Beah had gone through tough times and kept his fighter spirit no matter what but at the first tragic even Mariatu wished for death. The gruesomeness of her hands being cut off are explained when Mariatu states, “It took three attempts to cut off my left hand. Even at that, some of the flesh remained and hung precariously loose” (Kamara 41).
Beah’s family situation was a unique one. His father was around but a distant figure to his girlfriend who did not like Beah and his little brother and the fact that his job occupied most of his time. Junior, Mohamed, and Tallio are classified as friends but really represent his brothers. This lack of family structure was a blessing in disguise because it allowed Ishmael to cut his ties so easily with Africa and move to the United States to start a new life.
Mariatu Kamara had a very immense family net spread out in Magborou. In The Bite of the Mango she states her family situation:
Even though not everybody who lived in Marie and Alie’s house was related by blood, we thought of each other as family,...