Lord of the Flies

Essay by jetscelticsmetsA-, June 2014

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In both the novel, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding and in the memoir, A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah, war's capacity to produce barbaric and vicious behaviors in children is one of the many destructive effects of war that is evidenced in the books. In A Long Way Gone, the children of Sierra Leone are forced to bear witness to damaging atrocities that the rebels inflict upon the families of Sierra Leone. Moreover, these same children are made to become the perpetrators of horrific massacres against their fellow countrymen. Similarly, in Lord of the Flies, children stranded on a deserted island find themselves engaged in battle for control and power with each other. Through these clashes for control, the children become brutal, wreaking murderous results for the child victims. From these stories, it is clear that war gives rise to a bestial trait in man enabling him to resort to unimaginable brutalities against his fellow man.

In the memoir, A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah, Beah uses the literary element of point of view to engross his reader into Beah's horrific experiences during the Sierra Leone Civil War. At the start of the memoir, Beah immediately delves into his country's civil war employing first person narrative. By using first person, the reader is able to believe Beah's story and trust his discernment regarding the effects that the war had on Beah. Beah makes a significant statement at the start of the novel which inevitably has the most impact on the reader by illustrating for the reader how very young Beah actually was when he was confronted by war. Beah writes, "The first time that I was touched by war I was twelve" (6). This is such a powerful statement...