The Pain Of A Child Soldier

848 words - 4 pages

Throughout the two novels, The Bite of the Mango, and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, there are two main characters, Mariatu Kamara and Ishmael Beah that are greatly impacted by the civil war in Sierra Leone. Both characters were damaged physically and psychologically. Mariatu Kamara sustained the worse injuries of the two characters affected by the war.
While Mariatu was evading the rebel soldiers, she spent a large amount of time traveling alone, even while she was wounded. After Mariatu had witnessed her entire village and all of her friends and family killed right before her eyes, the rebel soldiers proceeded to amputate the arms of Mariatu. After her arms were chopped off by the rebels, Mariatu was forced to travel alone to find help for herself. During this time of travel, Mariatu had no one to help her or guide her to the hospital. Whereas with Beah, a lot of the time he was traveling with other members of the army he was a part of.
Although both Mariatu and Beah encounter many psychologically troubling events, Mariatu is impacted greater than Beah. Mariatu is a young innocent girl that was attacked for a reason she did not even know about. In the book, one of the child soldiers tell Mariatu to ask the president for new arms after they had been amputated, and later it is realized that at the time, Mariatu had not even know what a president was. This shows the innocence that Mariatu holds, whereas Beah was a child solider. Beah was stronger mentally than Mariatu. The events that Mariatu encountered were more traumatizing and haunting the events Beah encountered.
The worse injury was sustained by Mariatu. She lost her arms to the rebel army. "I was captured by the rebels with my cousins and held hostage for many hours". . . "Then at the end of the day, they ended up cutting off my hands, both hands". Beah did not suffer any major permanent injuries that he was stuck with for the rest of his life. Beah was a victim of drug abuse. Beah and the army he was a part of were constantly doing drugs. All of the drug use that Beah took part in led to an physical addiction that was hard to get past after he started rehabilitation.
Mariatu and Beah both lost a majority of their friends and family throughout the course of the war. Mariatu witnessed her family and close friends killed right in front of her....

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