Torn Childhood Essay

1025 words - 5 pages

Even when war robbed Ishmael and Mariatu of their childhoods, they persevered. This was a grave difficulty for them because of all the violence they saw and had all the obstacles they had to overcome. Both wanted to give up at times, but managed to pull themselves together and get through their struggles and challenges. Ishmael and Mariatu lost their childhood as they both had problems growing up. Childhood was much more demanding for Ishmael than it was for Mariatu because Ishmael Beah experienced many traumatic events.
Life for children in Sierra Leone was problematic. Days were long and nights were even longer. Losing one’s childhood would be difficult for anyone. Ishmael had a more ...view middle of the document...

It took the boy two attempts to cut off my right hand. The first swipe didn't get through the bones, which I saw sticking out in all different shapes and sizes. He brought the machete down again in a different spot, higher up on my arm. This time, my hand flew from the rock onto the ground. The nerves kept it alive for a few seconds, and it leapt from side to side, as a trout did when we caught them from the river. (Kamara 41-42)
Her life was spared because she was told to say she liked watching people die. If she was not told this she probably would have died. Ishmael also was lucky. He could have died becoming a boy soldier, or by taking drugs. The fighting affected almost the entire population and was characterized by extreme violations of human rights (Umiltá 1). Ishmael did drugs such as, cocaine, marijuana, and brown brown (cocaine mixed with gun powder). He did these drugs to forget the war and his family.
Family is what makes children feel safe and protected. Ishmael was more unfortunate than Mariatu. This is another reason why Ishmael had a tougher childhood than Mariatu. He lost his family due to the Rebels. Ishmael went from village to village trying to find out if any of his family was still alive. When he arrived at a village that supposedly knew of his family, it was ambushed by the rebels. He would have run to see them, but a friend held him back. Ishmeal would have died to see his family one more time. “I wanted to see my family, even if it meant dying with them” (Beah 96). For Mariatu, her family lived through the war and they are still alive. She still sees her family, who still live in Sierra Leone. Mariatu and Ishmael both got demobilized to Freetown and went to rehabilitation centers.
Getting demobilized was the key thing for Mariatu and Ishmael. Although Ishmael got demobilized, he was not safe yet. The children that got demobilized and went to Freetown were not all part of the army. Some of the children at the...

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