A Long Way Gone

When Beah arrives at the fortified village of Yele in chapter 12, what do you discover about the way he began his military career? Do you agree with the way the government is recruiting the boy soldiers? Just if I would at least two reasons.


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In this chapter Beah describes the gradual indoctrination of young boys into the ways of warfare. The haven they have been led to becomes the training ground for their martial skills. Both Lieutenant Jabati and Corporal Gadafi use emotional arguments - the desire for revenge and fear of a cruel, inhuman enemy - to motivate the villagers to remain and support the military. His display of the corpses is an interesting parallel to the scene from Julius Caesar in which Mark Antony shows the commoners Caesar’s assassinated body; Beah foreshadowed this connection when he describes Lieutenant Jabati’s love of Julius Caesar prior to this moment.

Beah also uses foreshadowing to alert the reader that Yele, for all its seeming placidity and security, is a danger to the boys in ways they cannot foresee. He says “there were no indications that our childhood was threatened, much less that we would be robbed of it” (p. 101). This statement hints at the later induction into the military through emotional manipulation.

As far as agreeing with government recruitment. Never..... Brainwashing, scare tactics, and manipulation are not ethical means of recruiting an army.