A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
At age 12 through 16, Shame BEA, a survivor of war, lost family, friends, and most of his country, Sierra Leone, in an unexpected, brutal war. In his novel A Long Way Gone BEA takes readers on a lifesaving journey as he unfolds the tragedy of life during war and life as a child soldier. He reveals the suffering, anger and violence he encountered while he watched d his loved ones, buildings and towns slowly be obliterated.
For three years Shame was forced to be a child soldier. He was given drugs, forced to handle weapons heavier than him and t rained to kill innocent people. After being released from war, going through rehabilitation and moving into New York City where it is safer than being in Sierra Leone, Shame is still very much affected socially, mentally and emotionally from the excruciating war memories, making g A Long Way Gone a prime example of how prolonged exposure to violence can have many long lasting effects. Often times, individuals who return from extreme violence have a hard time r covering mentally.
Being introduced to war at such a young age left harsh mental image sees that will forever impact Seamless life. BEA wrote, “Sometimes I closed my eyes hard to avoid t hinging, but the eye of the mind refused to be closed and continued to plague me with images ,” (BEA). For Shame, it did not just stop at memories, it was also gruesome flashbacks and nightmares, they became an everyday thing for him. In chapter 2, BEA takes readers on a scene e Of horror when he describes an unforgettable nightmare he had while in New York, where he ha been living for over a month. Their arms and legs are missing; their intestines spill out thro GHz the bullet holes in their stomachs; brain matter comes out of their noses and ears,” (BEA 18). Throughout the rest of the book, Shame continues to describe the horrific images his brain h as produced for him. This is largely due to the fact that he has experienced so much violence a ND they will forever be engraved inside of his head. For Shame, and other war survivors, prolonged exposure to violence not only has mental effects, but also emotional.