The Making and Unmaking of a Child Soilder Essay

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Erin Axson ENG101-036 The Discussion of “The Making and Unmaking of a Child Soldier” by Ishmael Beah The story “The Making and Unmaking of a Child Solider” is an insightful look into the life of a child drawn into the horror of war, yet still managing to survive. Throughout the story you see several examples of how a child evolves in spite of adversity and violence. At 12 years old children should be playing sports and living fun, healthy lives. This is opposite of Beah’s childhood experience. It is difficult for one to imagine the fear that would cripple a child when war is brought to their front door. Beah was just a child when he had to experience the devastation of losing his family. How could a 12 year old properly grieve…show more content…
Almost as if he didn’t want to be saved from his life. Could he possibly not know a better life existed? Even when he was not on the battlefield, the hatred and anger overtook him. One quote is particularly chilling “we needed the violence to cheer us” (Beah 274). It is heartbreaking that a child could be so damaged. When going through withdrawals, Beah was defiant and rebellious. That is typical behavior of any child. It appears that even though Beah was taught to be a violent killer, he was still just a boy. It is intriguing that he experienced very little fear or any other emotion when killing; however, he was terrified in his dreams. Maybe, this is to detach himself from his unwanted reality? A child’s subconscious is a powerful thing. Beah’s interaction with Ester is his first attempt at trust since the death of his family. It is possible that the bond between the two formed due to Ester actually treating him like a child, not an adult. She became his temporary sister. Ester offering Beah a walkman was a way to reveal the boy in him. She also offered popular rap music that boys his age would enjoy. Ester was the first person since he left home to show him empathy. She spent time with him and allowed him to release Axson 3 some of the hatred he had been holding onto. While it was wonderful for Beah to find such a connection, one has to wonder what Ester’s motivation was. Beah clearly needed someone to help with the loneliness

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