In Sierra Leone many people were separated from their families. They were taken to work with the rebels and become refugees and soldiers. Many children were taken away from their parents and run out of their villages. In A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah and Blood Diamond directed by Edward Zwick, Ishmael and Solomon are taken away from their families unwillingly. They are forced to give up their belongings, struggle to survive, and go against their morals and kill people in hopes to find their families. Ishmael is a twelve-year-old boy who has his family driven out of his village by the rebels. He shows his willingness to give up everything to keep on his journey in finding his family. The guards in one of the villages stop the boys and take them back to the chief. They want to know if they were rebels, and if so, they were going to kill them. Ishmael says, “The guards walked into the circle and started searching our pockets. One of them found a rap cassette in my pocket and handed it to the chief. He asked for it to be played” (38). After the chief heard the music, he let them go. Ishmael was able to sacrifice his music to live. This shows his perseverance to find his family. He never lets the images of his family leave his mind. He always goes back to old memories with them to push through his struggles.
Also, in Blood Diamond, Solomon gives up the pink diamond he found in exchange for his family. He found the diamond after the rebels took him to work in the diamond mines. He knows his family is still alive but the rebels recruited his son and he is now a child soldier. Solomon knows Danny Archer who is a man that smuggles diamonds. Solomon is willing to give up his diamond in return for Danny’s help. Danny Archer says, “That diamond could be priceless. We split it. You get your family. What is it going to be? Yes or no?” Solomon does think about, but he gives in and is willing to get Danny’s help. He is more concerned about the value of his family than the value of the diamond. In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael is forced to fend for himself. He struggles to find food and sometimes loses hope in finding his family because he does not want to die from starvation. Ishmael says, “We could not find something substantial to eat. We got hungrier day after day, to the point that our stomachs were hurting and our visions blurred at times” (27). Ishmael was losing hope in finding food and his family. He was a child that had to grow up quicker than expected. He is struggling to eat but he still keeps moving. I believe even though he is struggling to find food, this action shows he still has hope in finding his family. He is willing to put his life at risk to keep moving forward. Many children who are put in this situation like Ishmael is, find it hard to be able to take care of themselves. As children, they still depend on their parents. In the academic journal Child Soldiers In Sierra Leone And The Problems Of Demobilisation, Rehabilitation And Reintegration Into Society says, “From a very early age, children in Sierra Leone cease to be a liability, dependent on the family, instead they soon become an asset as a source of income to the family.” Although Ishmael does not become the main person for income, he does depend on his family. He always goes back to the memories of his mother in the kitchen and tells how she would make dinner for his family even though they were not the richest. This shows that he wants that lifestyle back, he wants to know that he will come home to his mother making him a meal. Now he is on his own and has to find food for himself because his physical state is more important than his family at this moment.
Ishmael then goes against his morals and kills someone. He becomes a boy soldier to the rebels and is influenced to kill. He starts to do drugs and watch violent movies, because he knows his family is dead. Although his family is