When growing up, family is always there for one another with unconditional love. They will do anything for each other, and throughout their lives they look to family for support and advice. This is not said for Ishmael Beah in A Long Way Gone. He was never in an idealistic “picture perfect” family because of his parents living in different villages through most of his life. The feeling of loneliness and independence was not new to him.
Contrasting Beah, Mariatu Kamara, from A Bite of the Mango, has a very healthy and intimate relationship with everyone in her village. “It was common in my country for children in the rural areas to be raised by people other than their birth parents” (Kamara 13). They all act as if they were in her immediate family and furthermore she depends on them immensely.
Beah and Mariatu were both children heavily involved in the war, being forced to face their countries problems that were not theirs to begin with. “The war in Sierra Leone has its origins in a long history of corrupt and predatory civilian and military governments that set the stage for a decade-long insurrection, destroyed state institutions, and left the country vulnerable to external manipulation” (Rice 1). While fighting the emotional and physical struggles throughout the war, Mariatu is firmly attached to her family indefinitely, while Beah has the advantage of independence; this is more fit for survival.Order now
Although, it is a relief that Mariatu was lucky enough to have her family with her through most of her journey, she depended on them far too much. It seemed as though whenever they were gone her emotions became overwhelmingly unstable. She trusted people she should not have, because that was the nature of family and how people were on.
- Kamara, Mariatu and Susan McClelland. A Bite of The Mango.
- Tornoto: Annick. 2008. Print.
Rice, Susan. “Prospects for Peace in Sierra Leone.” Prospects for Peace in Sierra Leone.
- 23 Mar 1999: n.p. SIRS Government Reporter. Web. 14 Nov 2013.
“The Department of Labor’s 2005 Findings.
- Preface and Introduction.” The Department of Labor’s 2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. 2006: 7-40. SIRS Government Reporter. Web. 14 Nov 2013.