Analysis Of A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah

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A Long Way Gone: Fact or Fiction? Throughout A Long Way Gone, the author, Ishmael Beah, describes in great detail the atrocities that were committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war. Before being forced to get involved in the war, Beah was an innocent child with a passion for hip-hop music. After joining the army, his thoughts and actions became increasingly twisted and immoral. He filled his mind with dreams of violence against the rebels. His pure hatred for the opposing force is evident when he says: I could become angry, yes, begin to visualize scenarios of shooting or stabbing a rebel. ‘The rebels are responsible for everything that has happened to you.’ I imagined capturing several rebels at once, locking them inside a house, sprinkling gasoline on it, and tossing a match. We watch it burn and I laugh. (Beah 113) While the passage above is merely a thought, Beah, according to his story, has committed acts far more violent and gruesome. If accurate, his memoir would provide unprecedented insight into the life of a child solider. However, the validity of his claims has been challenged …show more content…

Beah provides a map on one of the first pages of his memoir. The author of the Weekend Australian article, Peter Wilson, alleges that “the scale of the map is out by about 500 percent and the crucial town of Yele is placed in the wrong position” (Wilson). While it may be true, that error is of negligible significance. From a logical standpoint, Beah would not have gained anything by purposefully drawing the map incorrectly. In his defense, Ishmael Beah states that he “drew the map from memory” and that he “didn’t have an instrument to measure how far [he] had gone”. It is worth noting once again that drugs may have altered Beah’s perception of time and distance. The Australian had multiple allegations against Beah and his memoir. Nonetheless, some of them were equally

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