Ishmael became a victim of the war the moment he became a boy soldier. He was only a young teen at the time, where substances took over his life, as he states, “In the daytime, instead of playing soccer in the village square,
The mass amounts of imagination and passion that a child is able to grasp in their minds at such a young is something that, in most individuals, does not last forever. Children should be able to live carefree childhoods where their imagination is not being replaced by worry and hardships. Once imagination and passion is taken out of a child’s heart and mind, there is no getting that back. In A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah he writes about the emotional and mental changes of the children in his country that have been touched by the war and how he was affected personally as well. Beah recalls, “The children of these families [the refugees] wouldn’t look at us, and they jumped at the sound of chopping wood or as stones landed on roofs…”(5).
He idea (false hope), to from harm (Page 13)”. attempts to understand the push through the reasoning behind why one war? If so… how? pretends all is well, even though the opposite is true. Ishmael had not yet been introduced to the tragedies that would come with war.
Some of these ways are loss of self control and impulsiveness which both relate to Ishmael, because he had no feelings self-control and impulsiveness because he had no consideration of what could happen to him during the war or what he was doing to other people. The text says “Drugs are chemicals because of their chemical structures, can affect the body in many different ways. Some drugs can even change a person's body and brain in ways that last long after the person has stopped taking drugs”. This quote is important because it proves how drugs change and it tells the affects people. Now I will show how Ishmael was traumatised.
Ishmael has accept the fact that the war has ruined his enjoyment of meeting new people. Because of him going into villages and being chased out because they believed he was a rebel, Or having to go through other villages because he knew nobody there and he knew what was coming to their village and he did not want to stay had ruined the experience for him until later on in his life. Ishmael's experiences force him to deny his emotional side in order to survive. His flight from RUF attacks on the various villages in Sierra Leone requires him to let go of attachments to family and friends. Although he holds out hope to see his family, he has no choice but to close off himself to the world.
For example, after being captured by the rebel group, Ishmael is forced to almost kill his brother for his initiation. Although he was fortunate enough to escape that tragedy, Beah was still later separated from his brother, Junior, and never saw him again. It’s things like this can can destroy a man’s character, and once that character is finally destroyed, that’s when you are most vulnerable. You dont know who you are anymore and you must take on a new face and persona. This is how I believe Ishmael fell so quickly to the acts of war.
In the novel, “A Long Way Gone,” Ishmael Beah suffers from PTSD due to the exposure to war at such a young age and the rehabilitation process. Ishmael was exposed to guns, drugs and other types of violent acts due to the war at the age of 12. As time went by, Ishmael lost his family and slowly his friends too. Ishmael was traumatized from all the violence he experienced due to the war approaching his village. He had been forced by the Sierra Leone Armed Forces to serve as a child soldier during a civil war and “It was not easy being a soldier, but we just had to do it.
Ishmael has a flashback of his life in the war. In his dream he encounters a body wrapped in white bed sheets, and as he unwraps it he realizes it is his own face he is looking at. He then awakens, sweating and on the ground. He says, “I was afraid to fall asleep, but staying awake also brought back painful memories” (Beah 19). Even being in a different country cannot take away the hell that Ishmael has been through.
A Long Way Gone: War and Rehabilitation Following the life of Ishmael Beah in his autobiography, A Long Way Gone, readers experience how a young boy adjusted to drastic changes in lifestyles. The first- and perhaps more marked- change in lifestyle was when he became a child soldier in the Sierra Leone Army. The second was when he was taken away to be rehabilitated by UNICEF. Although there are several important components in both Ishmael’s life at war and his life during rehabilitation, it is his relationship with fear, how he deals with trauma, and his character in general which significantly share resemblances in each of the two mentioned lifestyles.
In the book A Long Way Gone a young innocent boy named Ishmael Beah became a soldier at 13 years old. He encounters lots of situations where he has to choose whether he wants to survive or kill to stay alive. During the story, Ishmael was converted from a young boy into a careless, numb soldier. Ishmael was also separated from his family and all throughout his journey he hoped that he would find his family again. Ishmael’s hope to find his family is what kept him going on his journey.
At the age of 13 till the age of 16 the author, Ishmael Beah, pulls himself through many terrible conflicts in Sierra Leone. The author uses conflict to show his readers the realism of his story. By using conflict in many different ways, it allows readers to gain an understanding of how Ishmael struggles changed his life for worse and for better. By using person vs person, person vs society, person vs self, and person vs nature conflict the author is opening doors allowing readers to get a full understanding of Ishmael 's challenges of a life in war. The most commonly seen conflict in ‘A Long Way Gone’ is person vs society.
Additional Activity 1 In the book, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, the reader can gather certain information about the story he told. The point of view of his story truly affects the reader’s understanding. Also, Beah included details that defined his experience and changed his life. He also wrote his memoir with an emotion that drove the story.
The human condition is full of paradoxes and double meanings. We can commit the most shocking and terrible acts, but we can complete the most virtuous and honorable feats. Ishmael Beah describes the appalling and violent behavior he and other children exhibited toward the human life during his time in the Sierra Leonean civil war in his memoir, A Long Way Gone. Beah also details the forgiveness and kindness of complete strangers that helped him become the man that fate meant him to be. Homo sapiens are complex creatures brimming with irony and surprises.
As the story progresses, the reader sees that desires become a more important role in Ishmael’s life and it made him from being an innocent child into a bloodthirsty soldier only looking for something to slaughter. From these transitioning desires Ishmael becomes less and less stable, making him easily