What purpose do the flashbacks of wartime serve in chapter sixteen?
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As in the previous chapter, Beah uses a flashback here to fill in the missing years between his induction into the Sierra Leone army and his transfer to the UNICEF compound. Whereas earlier flashbacks were of better times with his family (which he experienced them during times of intense trauma), now his flashbacks only go back to the war, even though he is experiencing them during a time of apparent security. He has truly lost his childhood to the war; now his memories only go back as far as his life as a soldier.