Analysis: Beah remembers his father’s words and uses them to keep him going through times when he is experiencing physical and mental pain and is living without purpose. He does not know where his life is going and has no one to guide him other than the words of the elders in his community, including his parents. Beah believes the same as his father, which is that his life will end if it has nothing else to offer.
Knowing this, he believes that his life still has better to offer, and it causes him to not fear death. The painful times make him even more determined to continue, after being boosted by his father’s advice. In his culture, wisdom is passed from the elders or the parents to children.
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This wisdom that his father offers helps form courage, one of Beah’s moral traits. His father’s words support the theme of hope in the memoir, because it is a driving force for Beah and provides him with the courage he needs to face the tough times.