Stranger In The Village Analysis Essay

The source and nature of one’s identity is a theme of both A long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah and “ Stranger in the Village” by James Baldwin. Conflict can be external or internal creating depth in a character and making a very complex journey. Everyone has an identity made and changed by what they have been through and what they have experienced. Baldwin bravely talks about his journey in the small swiss village in a Europe as villagers are shocked to see him: a black man. They observe him like an animal, however Baldwin does not see them as being unkind, rather they are unaware of black history in America. He compares how attitudes towards blacks were different in America, and Europe. Baldwin points out that history is trapped in him and he…

In his early age of twelve Beah and his brother Junior with some other friends set off from their village of Mogbwemo on a trip to the town of Mattru Jong to participate in a friends rap talent show. And the next day they hear the bad news; rebels attacked their village where he had no idea of what had happened to his family. Beah tries to go back to his town but he witnesses crowds of injured, bloody, horrified, and panicked people running towards where he was coming from. When the boys witnessed a horrific scene of a mother and her dead baby after running away from their home village. “The last casualty we saw that evening was a woman who carried her baby on her back… Her child had been shot dead as she ran for her life… The image of that woman and her baby plagued my mind as we walked back to Mattru Jong… I didn’t want to go back to where that woman was from; it was clear in the eyes of the baby that all had been lost” (Beah, 13-14). It was this overexposure to violence and gore that began his loss of innocence because it was powerful enough to diminish his hopes of returning to his home, forcing him to continue moving without…

He suffers from physical and mental pain through his journey. Losing his family, friends, and his childhood and to survive through all the obstacles he faces mostly by his own is such a big thing for a child. “One of the unsettling things about my journey, mentally, physically, and emotionally, was that I wasnt sure when or where it was going to end. I didnt know what I was going to do with my life. I felt that I was starting over and over again.” (page 69) He must start “over and over again” with each new day, keep moving so as to avoid both the rebels and their terrified victims. For Beah, as for any other refugee from warfare, there can be no rest. Whatever dreams he had in childhood of his adult life have not only been put on hold, they have been obliterated. His only goal now is to live through each…