The Civil War Of Sierra Leone Essay

The Civil War Of Sierra Leone Essay

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The lives of many were altered or ended during the most horrific period of their lives. The Civil War of Sierra Leone was devastating and affected many citizens in various ways. Many lost their lives to the brutal violence while some were mentally traumatized from what they saw and what they did. A Long Way Gone and The Bite of the Mango are two accounts of children who had lived during this time period; they express the hardships and physical trials people endured in Sierra Leone. The characters may have both been victims of the war, but both found different ways to survive.
In the first place, the two main characters, Mariatu and Ishmael, saw the people they love get murdered and the town they grew up in get destroyed. Innocent people were shot, burned alive, and decapitated while Mariatu and Ishmael were forced to watch. Similarly, the mentality of these two children was tainted by images they experienced. Ishmael expresses how the war affected his mental state when he says, “I was afraid to fall asleep, but staying awake also brought back painful memories. Memories I sometimes wish I could wash away, even though I am aware that they are an important part of what my life is; who I am now” (Beah 19).
In The Bite of the Mango, Mariatu showed this similar notion when she wrote, “I woke with a start. The dream had felt so real that it took a while for me to calm down and realize where I was,” (Kamara 75). Mariatu had dreams that felt like she was reliving a memory; this includes her dream of palm oil that she thought meant she was going to shed blood. Through the characters endeavors they had nightmares while their psyche was trying to understand the unimaginable torment they witnessed and endured.
In addition, Ishmael and Ma...

... middle of paper ...

...he was able to buy food and other necessities for herself and those who she considered family. She begged everyday she possibly could and it angered her when she could not beg.
Overall, the books talk of the same time period in Sierra Leone, but were altogether very different experiences. The two characters may have been of different genders, but both suffered mentally and physically from the war. They both took extreme measures to survive this terrible time in their home. Luckily, they were both able to move on from the war in countries far away from danger. They have since returned to Sierra Leone to inspire young and old of today and express their dealings or grave experiences by telling their story. The books they wrote inspires people all over the world, who now know their story, and can understand the effects from the war and just how retched it really was.

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