English 3 Honors
20 September 2014
The Maw of the Abyss
What is adversity? Some outlandish war in a far-flung world? Mayhap it is the bondage of poverty, or the morbidity of the threat of death. Whatever it may be defined as, it is most of all an ideal, and therefore it simply is and will always be. It is through this crucible of hardship that forges strength through turmoil, and separates the weak of will – like chaff from grain upon the threshing floor – from those whose actions are driven by determination and perseverance. Among all people, there are exceptional occurrences. These are people who have come from one end of the infinite spectrum of life to the opposite. These are people like Ishmael Beah, Stephen King, and Marshall Mathers. These are people who, when adversity accosted them, fought through their hard times and came out all the better.
First on the list is Ishmael Beah. Beah’s story is told through his book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. In his book, he details the adventure he took as a village boy, to a child soldier, and later, to a U.S. citizen. After he is separated from his family, he spends months searching for them. When he finds out where they are, he is ecstatic, but only momentarily. Once the village he was told to go to was on fire, he broke. The months of traveling, and many of them spent in solitude, wore him down. Very soon after, he was forced into military servitude. After that he became more and more desensitized to the horrors of war. At one point, Beah recants what a more veteran soldier at a camp told him about the grievous injuries of the wounded, saying, “You will get used to it. Everyone does eventually” (Beah, 100). Many of them never receive medical treatment, and die on the ground. Most of his experiences become less and less traumatic as he become more accustomed to the scenes of unthinking brutality and carnage. An example of this, was when his friend is shot next to...