Child Soldiers’ Vulnerability in David Hartness Amani’s River

Proceedings of The 9th International Conference on New Findings in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2023



Child Soldiers’ Vulnerability in David Hartness Amani’s River

Oluwagbeminiyi Bamisaye




The use of child soldiers in  Africa has  been  an  age-long social  phenomenon  which  is  far widespread more than the sparse attention it receives. Children as innocent as they are maybe the smallest victims of armed conflict, but are always the recipients of the brunt. During conflicts, children and young people’s rights are violated on a massive scale. Their rights to live in dignity and be supported, protected from violence, abuse, neglect and develop to their full potentials are usually impeded. Wars have claimed the lives  of many innocent  children, displaced several families and have negative impacts on the significant numbers of children participating as active combatants. This study therefore examines child soldiers’ vulnerability in David Hartness’ Amani’s River. Using Caruth’s aspect of Trauma  theory, this paper uncovers the traumatic experiences of child victims, the effects of such experiences on the victims and the coping strategies adopted by them. Findings revealed that traumatic events can provoke emotional and psychological reactions such as hyper-vigilance, jumpiness, intrusive images related to the traumatic events, repeated flashbacks, racing heart and trembling. The study demonstrated that armed  conflict  victims,  as  narrators in  literary novels,  are  able to  convincingly recount  the horrors and agonies of child soldiering. It was recommended that literary writers should use victims to tell their own stories.

keywords: Africa, Armed Conflict, Child Soldiers, Trauma, Narration, Experience