Western Culture And Child Soldiers Essay

1030 words - 5 pages

After achieving economic dominance following the events of World War II, the United States and its allies in Europe began to spread their influence. Commonly referred to as “the West”, these nations impacted people all over the world through music, propaganda, and relief efforts. The United States, as a free superpower, is morally obligated to promote democracy around the world (Evinger and Montanez-Muhinda). This can easily be observed in the stories of two children, Mariatu Kamara and Ishmael Beah, whose lives are changed by a brutal civil war. Despite playing a large role in both tales, the effects of western world are much more prevalent and impactful in A Long Way Gone than in The Bite of the Mango.
In fact, unlike Mariatu, Ishmael is influenced heavily by western culture before the war begins to directly affect him. One of the first things readers learn about him is that he loves rap music, a genre created by the West. He and his friends learn dance moves like the running man, wear baggy clothes, and memorize lyrics in English. Eventually, they even begin to use English phrases such as “peace out”. This kind of influence is not found in The Bite of the Mango.
Mariatu has much less exposure to the western world than Ishmael. This is evident through her lack of English skills that surfaces when she tries to communicate with her sponsors. However, there are several similarities between their lives that can be attributed to western influence. For example, both of them learn about snow by watching American Christmas movies. They are both exposed to English, most likely because of its role in the world’s economy. Furthermore, the impoverished state of Sierra Leone is the result of western slave trade and imperialism. Freetown was created when the Temne were forcefully held off their homeland as a British colony for freed slaves was built, which eventually gained independence (“Sierra Leone”). This causes Ishmael and Mariatu’s birthplace to become poverty stricken and unstable. Nonetheless, these similarities are minor in the grand scheme of the war and do not have nearly as large of an impact in their individual stories.
Even throughout Ishmael’s time as a child soldier, the western world continues to play a large role in his life. When he is on the run, the rap cassettes he keeps in his pocket help him remember the time before the war, and at one point save his life. After he is forced to become a soldier, he and his fellow recruits watch American war films to inspire killing. “We all wanted to be like Rambo; we couldn’t wait to implement his techniques” (Beah 121). Although it is a negative influence, it still largely affects Ishmael’s mindset.
When Mariatu is fleeing her captors, she has very little interaction or exposure to western culture. This is most likely because she did not care for it before the war and was caught up in the issue with her hands and finding a hospital. Additionally,...

Find Another Essay On Western Culture and Child Soldiers

The Development of Europe and Western Culture

3660 words - 15 pages The Development of Europe and Western Culture The development of Europe and Western Culture are highlighted by five key dates. The main four key dates and there are as follows: 500 B.C. is known as the Height of Greece. This is the time frame when distinctive European culture had emerged in Greece. It is also known as the Axis Date because the fundamental's of the great world cultures are being defined. During this period of time

Discussion of Former Child Soldiers With Ptsd and the Available Treatment Methods

1972 words - 8 pages boys in his village. The trauma and bloodshed that approximately 250 000 child soldiers worldwide are experiencing has resulted in researchers conducting studies on the impact these traumatic events has on the development of a child. What follows, is a discussion of PTSD among former child soldiers and examples of treatment methods being offered to children who have experienced war trauma through enslavement, torture or murder.In his magazine

Logic and Law in Russian and Western Culture

3455 words - 14 pages Logic and Law in Russian and Western Culture ABSTRACT: The purpose of my paper is to compare those texts of Russian and Western thinkers where the relations between logic and law are discussed, and especially to show both the differences and the agreements of their understanding of this connection. Second, I would also like to show and contrast the place of logic and law in Russian and Western systems of education. Third, I propose to

How were British soldiers were affected by the conditions and the nature of warfare on the Western Front (1914-18)?

2618 words - 10 pages The aim of this study is to critically examine different types of sources in order to assess in what ways and how useful they are in helping to build some understanding of how British soldiers were affected by the conditions and the nature of warfare on the Western Front (1914-18). In general terms, different types of sources have proved to be useful for this purpose, despite the fact that some of them do not represent the reality. Some

Differences between family in western and eastern culture

1404 words - 6 pages utmost respect is given to elders - all older relatives are given the suffix ji at the end of their names, meaning "sir" or "ma'am". This may, of course, seem excessively formal and impersonal, but in the Indian culture, it has developed a quality of sweetness and love - one that is hard to find in the Western call names of "Dad" or simply even calling a relative, such as an elder cousin, by their first name - showing no sign of respect for the

Will Western pop culture destroy national culture in Thailand and Malaysia?

1928 words - 8 pages the country as consumers and therefore being in a word 'brainwashed' with western culture such as McDonalds. As a gross generalisation 'MTV' is often seen as the biggest threat to national culture as Malays and Thai's try to emulate their American idols. " Part of the Malaysian and Thai problem however is due to the lack of support for local pop culture, leaving teens with no option other than western models to express their individuality and

The Role of Women and Family in Arab Culture and the Western Understanding

579 words - 2 pages Conor QuigleyARAB193-02Fall 2014The Role of Family and Women in Arab Culture and the Western UnderstandingPeople of the West generally misunderstand the concepts of the family structure of Arabs. Everything from the arrangement of marriages to the raising of children is often questioned and seen as harsh or skewed in approach. Many generalizations are made about the motives for these ways of living, and are often based in ignorance. The

Summary of the fine art of japanese taiko drumming and how it has influenced to western culture.

1059 words - 4 pages beginnings. The first piece of physical evidence came in the form of a clay Haniwa figure, which dated Taiko as far back as the sixth century. It is known that Japan has in the past borrowed musical instruments, scales, styles and such from its culture rich neighbors, so it makes perfect sense that Taiko's origins are of the same. Taiko's distinct physical characteristics " bear a strong resemblance to Chinese and Korean instruments, which were probably

Title: Homer and The Iliad Task: Write a report on the significance of Homer and the Iliad to ancient Greece and to Western culture.

604 words - 2 pages Homer, who has been known as a historic poet throughout many centuries, was very significant to ancient Greece and to Western culture. He orally passed down two monumental epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. This is very interesting because it explains why Homer was considered to be the spokesman of oral Greek literature. Although, Homer did not create the plot or the characters of these epics, he is presumed have composed the two, from the

Dicuss similarities and differences between Homer's Iliad and the movie Troy with reference to what the movie has brought to modern day western culture

1912 words - 8 pages ", "Odyssey" and "Aenead" and greatly reducing the time span of events. Some might say "Troy" is sacrilegious, but could merely be viewed as another interpretation of events as "The Iliad" is, too, a secondary source of evidence. The texts differ greatly from one another but contribute to pass on valuable tales to Western culture; all that is left of Greek history.As for the site of Troy itself, researchers have found that descriptions in Homers

Live Like a Soldier, Die Like a Child

1709 words - 7 pages compassion. More deeply, why do child soldiers fight and what do they fight for? Many people probably have never thought of these questions. According to investigators, “like adults, many children are willing to fight for social justice, their religious belief as well as their cultural identity.” For instance, child combatants in the wars between Israel and Palestine are believed to be fighting for their own religious belief and culture. In more

Similar Essays

Chinese Culture Vs. Western And American Culture

3814 words - 15 pages Chinese Culture vs. Western and American Culture There are many different aspects on Ancient Chinese culture that differ from Western and American culture. Many things such as education, marriage, and community type can be different from what we have in our Western civilization. Although Chinese culture has evolved through many, many years some ancient traditions still uphold. There are a wide variety of differences between the Chinese and

Child Soldiers/Suicide Bombers: The Brave And Courageous

922 words - 4 pages deserve. Kids should not have these images in their head this young. They should not have to go through this abuse either. Children are abused and mistreated all around the world, and child soldiers/suicide bombers are one of the worst circumstances. First of all the child soldiers/suicide bombers are located in many different continents all around the world. The majority is based in the Middle East and Africa: Burma, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka

Difference Between Western And Indian Culture

2457 words - 10 pages of Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, India, Italy, etc. Every person has their own way of cooking a certain dish and ingredients can vary depending on the person. The flavors also vary depending on the ingredients of the dish. Western culture is mainly known for its popular fast foods such as burgers, tacos, hot dogs, pretzels, etc. Western cultures mainly believe in nuclear families, where once the child reaches a certain age, they move out of

Traditions And Values Of Western Culture

1678 words - 7 pages Traditions and Values of Western Culture missing works cited History is a part of everyone's lives. We exist today because of our history. People who lived before our time fought for the rights that many individuals take for granted. Especially for an individual to appreciate life, one must be fully aware of the past, so one could truly appreciate their existence today and the freedom they have. So when the question arises on whether or