Ishmael2 - The rebels express a similar brainwashing,...

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Ishmael's loyalty as a soldier is fierce when this chapter opens, which is why his  dismissal from service is so painful. He admires the lieutenant and seeks his approval  as a father figure. The theme of confusion and fear returns when the boys are taken  from their squad. Ishmael's journey out of the war makes him anxious and afraid. He  doesn't know why he's being sent away, and he doesn't know where they are going. We  would expect him to be relieved to be out of the war zone, but because the war has  become his norm, he is angry and confused to be kicked out. The loss of his "new  family" is as acute as the loss of his real family. During the battle with the rebels at the UNICEF camp, Ishmael recalls his lieutenant's  instructions to kill any rebel he sees anywhere he encounters them. The brainwashing  by the army still has control over him, and he's not able to understand his new freedom. 
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Unformatted text preview: The rebels express a similar brainwashing, blaming the army for killing their families without cause. The rebels, too, claim to fight for the defense of their country to justify their violence. It's ironic that the exact same way of thinking defense and revenge has been used to motivate the boys to each fight for their side. The conflict of man vs. man is clear in this chapter, with each side claiming the other to be the enemy. The MPs are clearly not prepared for the brutal nature of the boy soldiers. It seems to catch them off guard that the boys still have weapons and are capable of such violence. The conflict of man vs. society is revealed as the boy soldiers battle against the culture that is trying to free them from their brainwashing enslavement....
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