Long Way Gone
SWC030 Understanding Individuals Families and Communities
Word count :2308
Case Study; A Long Way Gone
Sierra Leone, a former British colony is a small country on the west coast of Africa with great diamond prosperity while also being war torn. The Civil war in Sierra Leone occurred between 1991 and 2002 and was started by the revolutionary united front (RUF). The Rebel Group invaded the country in an effort to bring down the government and its leader Joseph Saidu Momoh.
In the village of Mogbwemo a twelve year old boy, Ishmael Beah was not in any way prepared for what was about to happen to him. An extraordinary, beyond belief heart wrenching experience that changed his life forever. Through his circumstances and experiences he would endure mental strain trauma and acts of violence, as well as psychological manipulation, eventually becoming a boy soldier.
In this essay I will consider Ishmaels 2007 biography ‘A Long Way Gone‘. I will discuss the impact of social issues on the authors development and consider the impact and the authors responses. I shall be drawing upon theory and discussing the attitudes towards gender and age, authority and power in the authors environment.
The social issue that will be considered is that of living in a war torn country. As a child Ishmael did not understand the concept of war or how it could, and later did impact on him, his family, his friends and his community. Ishmael and his brothers were raised by their mother as a single parent. Despite the poverty that his family experienced he enjoyed his childhood. His mother allowed him to make choices, supported his friendships and his interests in music. Ishmael had a poor relationship with his father due in part to his choice of partner, however, he had a close relationship with his mother and even closer relationship with his grandmother.
The quality of relationships are, according to theorists such as Bowlby (1969) determined by the degree of attachment that one person feels for another. McLeod (2017), states, “Attachment behaviour in adults towards the child includes responding sensitively and appropriately to the child’s needs. Such behaviour appears universal across cultures”.
It could be suggested that at this time in Ishmael life he felt securely attached to his main care givers and benefitted from emotional, physically and social support. Ishmaels care givers instilled good values in him, Ishmael talks about remembering his grandmother’s comment “We must strive to be like the moon” (p.54). Ishmael explains his grandmother’s reasoning by adding,
“it was an adage that served to remind people to always be on their best
behaviour and to be good to others. People complain when there is too much
sun and the again when it is too cold. However, no one grumbles when
the moon shines, because a lot of happy things happened in the moonlight”
During this stage of Ishmaels life it seems as if his basic needs were being met. According...