In the book “A long way gone” Ishmael Beah takes us on a journey through his rough childhood. He was 12 years old and just like other boys living in Sierra Leone at the time, at the age of 13, he became a child soldier. In his journey to escape the war. he had lost and gained people. Running from the rebels, and being taken in by villagers mistaking him and his friends for rebels, he finally made it to Yele. A village most thought was safe, ended up being where he would be recruited at. Ishmael and his friends got used to this harmful lifestyle surrounded by violence and drugs. After months of fighting for revenge, the lieutenants picked some of the younger boys to be rehabilitated, and they became infuriated. They were forced to grow up and …show more content…
“There were more than thirty boys there, two of whom, Sheku and Josiah, were seven and eleven years old” (Beah 109). These were babies fighting for their lives, being dosed up with all kinds of drugs. Even Ishmael, he was recruited at the age of 13. Not only did this war affect child soldiers but the other kids that had no protection. “One of the main aims of the rebels, when they took over a town, was to force civilians to stay with them, especially women and children”( Beah 24). Innocent children were targeted, no way to defend themselves. They used kids as shields from the military. As there were many child soldiers, there were many child rebels. Both knew no …show more content…
I thought that war was between adults and killing those who had done wrong. But after reading I realized it was just hatred. How could they kill such innocent lives? Babies have to see their families killed, being left on their own. Rebels were killing, raping, etc all for their enjoyment. This book made me angry, I kept putting myself in replacement of Ishmael. I imagined what it would be like to run away for days on end being alone or seeing my friends die in front of me. I put myself in the place of others as Ishmael told their stories. This book made me realize that even though I don't advocate for violence I understand Ishmael's want for revenge. “Visualize the enemy, the rebels who killed your parents, your family, and those who are responsible for everything that has happened to you”(Beah 112). I realized I would have been no better than Ishmael. If I had lost all my friends, and my family and could hurt the person or people that started this, I would. This book changed my perspective on the phrase “fighting fire with fire”. I used to think it was bad and it won't solve anything but bring more violence, but this book made me realize I would not have been thinking rationally under those circumstances. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to read this book. It has opened my eyes and made me realize how privileged I am. Ishmael Beah did a great job telling his story. He got his point across and succeeded in
Later on in the memoir, they named Ishmael the “killing machine” because he was so into violence and killing. The bad group he was with brainwashed him about his family and loved ones. He became addicted to cocaine, marijuana and brown brown which give him courage to fight and kill people without knowing it is wrong. Ishmael stayed with this bad group for a while; but later on his lieutenant gives Ishmael to the UNICEF.
Ishmael who was once a peaceful, innocent little boy, was transformed into a man killing machine like most children. The civil war in Sierra Leone had malformed many people’s lives, personality, and faith, bringing them to extreme measures. Families were torn apart by the war, everything had changed. Homes that used to once carry families and joyful memories were no longer there, everything was demolished. Like Ishmael many children were manipulated to join the war to avenge the deaths of their families, making the war more chaotic that it should have been.
He then moves to Mattru Jong to live with his father. The war hits when he is on a trip with his friends and his brother to see his grandmother. He then has to run away from the war leaving his family behind him. ishmael continues running from the war for most of his childhood and eventually losses his brother and the rest of his family in the process.
This shows the heinous acts of violence that Ishmael was forced to commit as a boy soldier during the war. On the other hand, music can symbolize hope and healing for Ishmael. “I had not slept well for months now, and so far I had been able to avoid my nightmares by busying myself day and night with listening to and writing the lyrics of Bob Marley’s songs,” (Beah). Overall, he expresses how fear, pain, and hope dominated all aspects of his existence in his writings. His experiences serve as a reminder of the devastating impact on Sierra Leone and
It also talks about Ishmael's rehabilitation after his great escape. It is an intense story of the devastating events that happened to
In the text, Ishmael is faced with having to fight in the war starting at only 12 years old. Along the way, he finds other boys the same age as him or even younger. Ishmael faces the struggle of losing his family and his sense of safety in the war. Ishmael lost many things whilst being in a war, one of which being his family.
He starts to think smarter and travel more cautiously. In addition to this, Ishmael also shows he had acquired intelligence when the secret market was under attack, “I was getting furious, but… I knew I couldn’t afford to lose my temper. The result would be death, since I was now a civilian; I knew that” (205). Prior to living in the rehab center, if Ishmael had been put in the same situation, he most certainly would have snapped and joined the massacre, but while staying with his civilized families, he learned to think about the outcome of his actions beforehand, so he holds his temper and hides
In the country Beah lived in, Sierra Leone, there was a large war going on for diamonds. The Rebels (RUF) were vicious and destroyed everything in their path to get to their goal. Unfortunately, Beah was one of the many people that suffered in the war. He ran for so long to get away and find safety, just to be caught up in it. Ishmael Beah went from an innocent child to a violent soldier.
This memoir was written to anyone who can truly handle sadness, misery, and people who wanted to be educated about other cultures. Also, the purpose of this memoir was to educate people about the troubled childhood and teen years that he went through, but also to educate people on how war and great tragedy really affects children as well. Before reading this book, I had never heard or seen anything about the war in Sierra Leone and I think that was one of the biggest motivators for Ishmael Beah because he realized that not very many people knew there was a war and he wanted to inform more people about what really went on. Ishmael uses a lot of persuasive techniques like kairos, ethos, logos, and pathos to be able to educate people on
"We were all scared, but there was nothing we could do. We had to walk forward, we had to fight, we had to survive” (Beah Pg 42). This illustrates the tenacity Ishmael had to show to endure as a young soldier in Sierra Leone. Despite his fear and uncertainty, Ishmael knows he must move forward and fight for his life. Ishmael is a prime example of the resilience that can be enforced in the face of even the most traumatic situations, due to his ability to adapt and his dedication to surviving.
When the children were not in the field fighting they were forced to watch movies about war. They were surrounded by the violence all day every day. They were brainwashed to believe that they had to fight to survive. “My squad is my family, my gun is my provider, and protector, and my rule is to kill or be killed” (Beah, 116). Prior to the war and violence Ishmael lived a normal life but once he was surrounded by the war he was forced to have a survival mentality the he believed justified the killings.
(Conclusion) Ishmael Beah narrated his personal experience from an honest point of view. By doing so, he enabled the reader to understand everything he chose to explain head on, with no barriers. The reader was able to know what Beah went through, in his own words. “I began to cry quietly and all of a sudden felt dizzy,” (Beah 34). The readers were able to understand how he felt in certain situations.
Not experiencing war is a luxury many people unfortunately do not get; however, Ishmael Beah, the author of A Long Way Gone, lives and survives the war, though not without heartache. With war there is always fear, death, and hell. Ishmael Beah proves war is hell through the killing of civilians, the distrust, and the after effects of the war. Ishmael proves war is hell through the killing of civilians. Many innocent bystanders of the war are forced out of their homes, made to run for their lives.
Later, UNICEF came and decided to take Ishmael out of the war and put him in a rehabilitation center. In this part of the novel, the reader can see how his desire for killing has controlled him completely. By fighting and killing rebel members in the rehabilitation center and beating up the guards to force them into doing what the children wants to do, the reader can see that the war has changed their ways of life and thoughts. The army was able to change Ishmael 's desires and from that, he became a deadly