Jacob Cheslock Ms. Smith World Literature, Hour 6 30 November 2012 Music: The Savior of Life One good thing about music, when it hits you, you have no pain—“Bob Marley. ” No matter what kind of music you listen to, there seems to be something about it that soothes, calms, or sparks the creative side of the mind. Ishmael Beah, a victim child of war, is very connected to music, using it to lose himself in it, forget about the war, and focus again on life just as many of us, including myself, do when life gets tough.
Beah, like many of the children in his generation, is very connected to the rap genre of music but for reasons other than because it is what is popular around him. Beah and his friends are first influenced by rap music when they see it on television at a neighboring village of Mobimbi. They are amazed at how good the black people could speak English so fast and to the beat of the music. This ends up becoming a way of life for the boys as they form their own dance team and end up carrying notebooks and cassettes with the music of their favorite artists to always work on music together.
They use this to express themselves and who they really are. After the war Beah ends up in a rehabilitation center called the Benin Home. The rehab process is a very long, hard, and painful process for not only Beah, but as well as all of the boys affected by this war. Beah however ends up finding his true self through the use of his music. It helps him to focus his mind and heal up from the damages of war. Thinking about the lyrics helps him to avoid the flashbacks and bad memories of the war, while opening up to the possibilities of life again.
Beah has had a super touch life, especially being a child and music for him seems to be not only a tool to help him, but something that he needs. He explains what it feels like to be one of the victims of war, which is what the music was used to cure, in this quote by him in his book “A Long Way Gone”, “One of the unsettling thing about my journey, mentally, physically, and emotionally was that I wasn’t sure when or where it was going to end. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I felt that I was starting over and over again” (Beah 69).
This is the main reason why music becomes such an important aspect in Ismael Beah’s life just as it has become in my own. Music for me has always been something that I loved. It has helped me through many times where I felt alone or when something was making life tough. I also music because by writing my own songs and lyrics it is a good way for me to express myself and who I really am. Whether I am listening to, playing, or writing music it seems like it flows through me like the blood in my veins. It can determine my mood or influence the mood I am in.
Music always makes me feel like I have a place in this world even when nothing else can and sometimes when no one else will…it is my best friend. Music lives within me, around me, and is what I can always fall back on. Being a child victim of war, Ishmael Beah connects himself to music to help cure himself to the damages of war and to help him focus on returning to a normal life, as I have even done a few times. Music is an aspect of life that anyone can use to get through life…no matter what has happened in your life, even if you have been to end and back. “Music IS the ultimate savior and friend of life. ”—Jake “ChEz”