A Long Way Gone

do you think the rehabilitation center was helpful for beah? Why? Why not?


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The riots at the UNICEF compound demonstrate how deeply-rooted the boys’ military “brainwashing” (as Beah terms it) truly is. When offered a second chance at a civilian life after two years of combat, with new clothes, a safe place to sleep, and people who care for them, the boys turn the situation into a military endeavor. Strange boys, no matter their affiliation, are a threat until their motives and loyalties can be determined. The fight with the RUF boys accentuates how deep the ideological chasm is between boys who have suffered similar traumas, but been indoctrinated by opposite political factions. Although the camp may not look helpful to the boys it actually is a new beginning. It is a gentle re-introduction to a world without constant violence and fear. It is the first step into a new life.