A Long Way Gone QW 3: Female Characters

Note: Click here for more information on Quick Writes, the works I respond to, and disclaimers. Mistakes were kept unchanged. Also, spoilers ahead.

Date QW Written: January 28, 2015

Prompt: (TBA)


Despite the lack of female presence in Beah’s memoir, they represent large roles in Beah’s life. For example, Beah’s grandmother is the most mentioned female in his memoir, usually showing up through his retellings of his grandmother’s storytelling. His grandmother is source of Beah’s morals and past childhood that Beah cherishes. Another unforgetable woman in Beah’s life would be his mother. Although she was not able to fully play a consitstent part of a mother in his life, Beah sees her as the representation of family, as he always remembers her in his memories and sometimes nightmares. 

Two of the most important women Beah would ever meet in his life would be Esther and Laura. Esther’s kindness and compassion brings Beah slowly out of his own shell and was the first one to convince him that all the happenings due to the war were not his fault. Laura, as his future mother, provides a connection to the safer past with her and Beah’s mutual love for storytelling. 

In a story of war, women would not be metioned as much as men because men are considered the dominant gender and more suitable for war. In contrast, women during war would not be in the front lines as Beah was but rather used to help in more domestic aid for war. 

In the memoir, the women in Beah’s life represent hope and safety, both characteristics having no place in any story of war. Beah may have wanted to preserve his perception of the females in his life by keeping them separate from the realm of war and violence. In a memoir of retribution, the women in his life represented this peace he wanted to achieve 

Score: 18


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