In the novel, Moses, Citzen & Me, Delia Jarrett-Macauley conveys the narrator's struggle to understand an ex-child soldier. In order to do so, the narrator, Julia, must forge a relationship with the physically and emotionally elusive, Citizen. But, why whittle such a large topic like child soldiers down to focus on only one child? Perhaps the only way to comprehend the magnitude is to view a glimpse of specific relationships affected by the social injustice. The same idea holds true for the relationship between Patrick Dillion and his ten-year old bodyguard, Muhammad Ali, in "My Bodyguard."
[...] According to Anup Shah, a writer for an informative organization called Global Issues, ex child soldiers have severe troubles with mobilization and reintegration into society, not only because they are traumatized by the violence, but because they are often expected to resume life in the same society in which they had previously been forced to fight and kill people (Shah). Citizen rejoined the same society, but to top it off, lived with Moses after murdering Moses' wife—Citizen's own grandmother. Moses took Citizen back in, but remained reluctant to parent him and dismissive altogether in rekindling any kind of relationship. [...]
[...] In Moses, Citizen & Me, Bemba G teaches ex- child soldiers the mathematics, singing, and perhaps most importantly, the art of storytelling (Macauley). He succeeds in forming close bonds with children through educating them. He recognizes that these children have not experienced much—if any—schooling. The education process for children is critical to their transitions into adulthood. Learning how to tell a story encourages children to use their voices to share their stories with other people, no matter how painful. Julia recounts: “Citizen began to discover what his life story really was People had come and helped him. [...]
[...] According to Global Village, a small forum crusading for human rights issues, “[child soldiers] are less likely to rebel or ask questions” (Global Village 2006). Easily manipulated, children become eager to please and frightened to disappoint. In the narrative, Ali's only display of fear came when he lost the Swiss army knife given to him as a gift by Dillon; he cried and ran away for awhile (Dillon 92-93). Like Citizen, Ali may have acted like an independent adult, choosing to be a super soldier, but his anxiety over the lost gift is proof that he is still a fragile child. [...]
[...] He proposes: I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine (Swift). Here, Swift treats children like animals rather than people. His message is that kids are not only useless for work and therefore harmful to the economy. He neglects childhood as the crucial bridge to the next generation. [...]
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