Childhood Wartime Experiences: Examples of Three Novels

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In the excerpts, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah and First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung, and the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, the authors share their stories of what it was like being a child in wartime. Childhood wartime experiences had a negative impact on the lives of Wiesel, Beah, and Ung. The war weakened Wiesel's faith in God, caused Beah to be in an uneasy state and have flashbacks of bad memories, and it caused Ung to adapt to a new lifestyle. Childhood wartime experiences have had a negative impact on Wiesel's life. The war caused Wiesel to lose faith in God. For example, in the novel, he states, “Why, but why should I bless him? In every fiber, I rebelled. Because he had thousands of children burnt in his fire because he kept six crematories working day and night, on Sundays, and on fast days” (Wiesel 67). Even though the Jews were imprisoned in Buna, they came together to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. During this time, Elie’s hatred towards God starts to grow. He questions God as to why he is letting the Holocaust take place, why he is allowing children to die at a rate of thousands, and why is he making people work all the time, all year round. Elie has the thought that man is more powerful than God. In addition, he questions God by asking him what the people he “betrayed, gassed, and burnt” had done (Wiesel 64). He began to doubt God and inquired God about how they had been unfaithful to him. He also asks why they were put into torture in this way to be put to death. Wiesel was despondent due to God allowing such pain to occur. Thus, the childhood wartime experiences of Wiesel had a negative impact on Wiesel’s life because it caused him to lose faith in God. Moreover, c... ... middle of paper ... ...e spit at Pa’s feet (Ung 312). The hostile attitude of the villagers toward the new arrivals, including Ung and his family, is portrayed. The villagers seemed very mean and they had disrespect in their eyes. Ung doesn’t understand why the villagers hated them so much and how that small detail would change their lives forever. Thus, the childhood wartime experiences had a negative impact on Ung’s life because it caused her to adapt to another lifestyle. All in all, the war weakened Wiesel’s faith in God, caused Beah to be in an uneasy state and have flashbacks of bad memories, and it caused Ung to adapt to a new lifestyle. Childhood wartime experiences have has a negative impact on the lives of Wiesel, Beah, and Ung. These children faced very harsh obstacles in their lives, and we, the people, should make sure that nothing like this will happen again.
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