A Long Way Gone QW 5: Monkey

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 30, 2015

Prompt: The monkey?


Ah, yes, the monkey. Before Beah tells us the story of the monkey, the story feels unfulfilled with Beah still on the run from Freetown and ultimately away from the war. However, by the end of his anectdote. Beah successfully wraps up his memoir and brings it full circle. 

Through the anectdote of the monkey, we become acquainted with the true selflessness of Beah. In a question that seemed to be entirely unanswerable to many of children, Beah finds an answer that was exeptionally noble and selfless, especially for a boy of seven-years-old. 

I see the anectdote of the monkey as a representation of Beah’s ultimate sacrifice. In the story of the monkey, Beah was willing to sacrifice the life of his own mother to prevent the same situation from happening to anyone else. Through his memoir, Beah sacrifices his innocense, guilt, and childhood to revel the truth of war and child soldiers in hopes to prevent any sort of that from happening again. Beah essentially reinforces his own selflessness through the anectdote of the monkey. 

On the surface, it may seem as if Beah does so only to increase our vision of his nobleness. However, the anectdote is a form of defending the acts he committed as a child soldier and serves to his goal of redemption through his memoir. By telling us about the monkey, Beah is hoping we will understand that yes, he deserves our judgement, but he would also like for us to understand that he views all that he experienced as sacrifice for others who many have end up like him without the truth given through his memoir. 

Score: 20



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