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  • Publié le : 7 octobre 2010
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We all perceive things against the backgrounds of our own experience…things seem to open up from the vantage points of where we stand, from our lived situations.” (Greene, 2001)

Experiencesin the past serve as a tool which molds one’s outlook on life and how one lives it. The main characters in “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” and “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier”undergo life-altering experiences that greatly influence their perception when dealing with the various adversities in their lives. The effects of war are a recurring theme amongst both books and itdemonstrates its powerful impact on the characters’ viewpoint.

Ishmael Beah became a child soldier of his nation’s government army in Sierra Leone at the age of twelve. His childhood was tornapart by the ongoing civil war between the rebels (RUF) and the Sierra Leone government. Beah’s struggle for survival demolished his innocence and eventually led him into becoming a merciless killer withthe loss of moral values and direction. Beah became a boy soldier, "I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I've come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, inthat process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end..." As a witness and a pawn of the horrific violence and endlesscorruption in his country, Ishmael Beah’s past became inescapable “Memories I sometimes wish I could wash away, even though I aware that they are important part of what my life is; who I am now.” In theend of the novel, Ishmael refers to one of the folklore stories of his childhood. In the story, a hunter is forced upon making a challenging decision. The hunter must to decide whether he should killa monkey. If he shoots the monkey, his mother will die, and if he doesn’t, his father will die. Before the war, Beah believed it was an unanswerable question because he loved both his parents...