Impact of War and Violence on Children in A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

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Children exposed to violence within their communities are left with emotions of hopelessness, insecurity, and doubt. Historical events such as the war on terrorism, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the tragic events of September 11th have had a detrimental effect on the entire nation, including the children. Although every child is not directly affected by the aspects of war, it somehow has an emotional effect on all. The involvement of a nation with war affects every individual differently, whether it is out of fear, anger, doubt, hope, or love. In the short novel A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, he narrates the story by telling his own involvement in the Civil War in Sierra Leone as young boy and the many issues he faces while living in …show more content…
Nonetheless, the conditions children observe during a time of war and experience through violence around them are frightening and astonishing.

The circumstances surrounding September 11th 2001 seem to be too much for a young child to grasp. At the age of eleven, I remember this day so vividly, but at such a young age I was unable to understand everything that was taking place before me. Although this day did not affect me directly, with time I have come to understand that situations as this one affects a nation as a whole. It seemed to be my first exposure to war in which I could remember. Beforehand, I knew nothing about what terrorist were and my country fighting in war seemed to be the least of my worries. Over time, I would learn more about the two. Today, as I grow into an adult I see the effects of current wars on children. I work in an environment where I come in close contact with children whose parents serve in the military. Although many of these children have no idea about the purpose of war or the outcome it may bring, they do know it as the single thing that takes their parents away for months at a time. I am mindful of the different reactions of these children. The stability in their life is altered with the absence of one parent being gone for long periods of time. The stability is what helps to build a strong family, and Garbarino states:


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