Forgotten Fire is a fictional book that is based on a true life story of a boy’s life that was destroyed by the Armenian genocide. Adam Bagdasarian the author of Forgotten Fire, uses Vahan Kenderian’s life story to show the disaster that the Armenian Genocide had brought on to this race. Forgotten Fire is about a boy named Vahan Kenderian who grew up in a very affluent family and was very well know. Vahan never expected to have to lose everything he had including his family. His father had always told him that lacked character and that sooner or later he would have to wake up and mature in his ways.
He never expected for it to come so soon in the summer of 1950. Vahan had been arrested, malnourished, separated from family, beaten, and had seen his family killed. The Armenian soldiers took his father and then beat up his uncle and shot his older brother. His mother, grandmother, siblings and him were kept in cells without food or water. They were forced to walk miles in a single file line in order to get to the next camp site. They were finally allowed to drink but whoever drank was killed and he witnessed his grandmother die.
He ran away from the camp leaving behind his sister and mother only having his brother left. He later lost his brother to malnutrition. He became the slave of an Armenian governor but later ran away only to find a tribe that thought he was deaf and mute. He fell in love with the chief’s daughter and knew that her father was out to kill him. So he ran away to find refuge in a town that was abandon other than a steel worker who helped him into a girls home. The head mistress, Mrs. Fauld, brought him to a doctor’s home who lived on a farm and worked as a slave towards the Germans.
He met Seta who was in the house of the German governor. She was later kicked out because she got pregnant, Vahan took Seta in and she had her baby but she died a week after she gave birth. The governor later took the baby boy. Later that year the wife of the doctor died. After she passed Vahan decided to leave so he left to Constantinople. That is where he found peace and place where the war had not touched. In the 1950’s there was a lot of prejudice all over the world. This included turkey although it was to a more extreme extent. The 1950’s was right in
the time of the civil rights movement in America. I was surprised to learn that the Turkish were so brutal with the Armenians they had no respect for them at all they would beat them to a pulp with no regard to them. They considered them as trash they did not look at them as people, they were less than people they had no value what so ever. I learned that many of the genocide happen just because a race does not like a specific race because of what they look like or because of what they have in their cultures or they seem to have the idea that one race is superior to the other.
In turkey the Turks ran Armenia they ran the government and the military. Although most of Armenia had a huge population of Armenians they ran many of the shops in small towns. Up until the Armenian Genocide the people had been somewhat settle about their dislike of each other. They had not brutally beaten one another up just for the fun of it they respected each other until the leader decided to promote the violence against the Armenian nation. I also learned that during the genocide they killed all the boys from the age of sixteen and older because they have the possibility of revolting.
They only allowed the women and children to survive because it was easier for the soldiers to overpower them then the men because they were weaker and they tended to cower in fear of them so it was easy to take control once they showed fear. The Armenian culture is very family oriented because of the Armenian Genocide they are very community based they keep themselves within their race like the Hipic culture they are very family oriented and put family at a very high stake.
Armenian enjoy music, dancing, art , and their literature plays a huge role in their race. Over the years many of the stories were passed down this way and are passed down through many generations they have many stories to tell to their families that have been passed from generation to generation. The Armenian culture tries to stay within their race when it comes to marriage they don’t really marry outside of their race The Hipic culture is loves to dance and to have music playing, hanging out with their whole family.
Forgotten Fire is a great book in the way it was written and told. I really liked that they stayed really close to the actual story rather than going on ends trying to make it interesting when they don’t have to because the story is interesting already. It was really cool to see that in real life he was able to reunite with some of his family. He was able to reunite with his uncle I thought it was really cool how they told his end of the story but they also added a twist onto it.
The twist really provided hope for the main character allowing you to see that all his trials are over and that all he had gone through is finally done with and he can be at peace where he is at. Although this book was graphic it really helps you understand only slightly what he is going through even though you may never be able to fully comprehend what had happened to him during his life and during that time period they did a really good job on helping you understand how he was feeling. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was how they split it up into sections it made the book to seem to go on for a really long time.