Beasts of no nation tells the story of Agu who flees his home and heads deep into the forest after he is separated from his mother and his sister while his father and brother are executed by government forces.
While it is a brilliant work of fiction, it leaves a very strong impression in the mind, something everyone can relate to in real life like.
Family is key.
Everyone wants to feel at home or be accepted somewhere. If the biological family fails to give that, people will search for it elsewhere.
Children are as vulnerable as they are dangerous.
One minute Agu is a scared little boy, the next a soldier. Children are shaped by their experiences.
Give a child a golf club, and he’ll become the best in the world.
Give another a tennis racket, and she’ll swing the racket like no one has ever done.
Give another a rifle or a machete and he’ll shoot to kill. He will also rip a heart out while it’s still beating.
There is nothing remotely cute about war.
We forget a lot of the time that war does not last for 90 minutes. It goes on until the last troops have been brought home. The soundtrack of war consists of blood curdling screams and victims hitting the ground.
The first kill is the hardest.
Agu hesitates at his first murder but when he finally does, killing becomes as easy as breathing.
When the elephants are fighting it is the grass that suffers.
It is that random child who just wants to play in peace that gets raped by a soldier or rebel.
Even in the thick of the devastation, the child within lingers still.
We create our own monsters.
The choices we make as a people, the injustices we endorse or are silent about might come back to destroy us and even worse, outlive us.
War is terrible.