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A Long Way Gone Symbolism Essay

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Authors use symbols in literary to show you gateways into themes. Some are easily noticed but some are much more complex. In his literary work, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah uses symbols to underscore his central theme of oppression and freedom. The symbols used in this literary work to show the theme of freedom are the moon and the cassette tape Ishmael had from his childhood rap group. The symbol used to represent the theme of oppression is Ishmael’s dreams or nightmares. The symbol of the moon represents the theme of freedom. Freedom is very important to many people if not everyone but to Ishmael he was free when he was a child. Ishmael said “I sat outside...thinking about how far I had come and what might lie ahead, I looked into the sky and saw how the thick clouds kept trying to cover the moon yet...reappear again and again to shine all night long. In some way my journey was like that of the moon- although I had even more thick clouds coming my way to make my spirit dull.” (pg 69) Here the moon always makes its way into the sky at night and to Ishmael it symbolizes his life. He is greeted by many hard situations that he over comes, in a way he always ends up in the sky…show more content…
The symbol used to represent the theme of oppression is dreams. Therefore, in his literary work, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah uses symbols to underscore his central theme of oppression and freedom. The final chapter explains a story of a monkey. Ishmael's response to this story showed that he had always had the right intentions. He went through so much but he often showed us of both the freedom and oppression that he experienced. Symbolism showed us ways to see both themes in different ways. Ishmael found a way to speak to his audience through symbols to underscore the importance of freedom as well as oppression in a boy soldier's
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