Analysis Of A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah

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There are common necessities that all humans require to live a balanced and fulfilling life. In 1943, Abraham Maslow constructs a pyramid that structures the basic needs of humans, and the importance of them. The organization of the pyramid begins with the base to be the most critical and progresses upwards. The bottom tier consists of physiological needs, and builds up to safety, love/belonging, esteem, and peak being self-actualization. In the novel, A Long Way Gone, a memoir written by Ishmael Beah, the pyramid applies to the author as the reader follows his struggle and development throughout a war in Sierra Leone during the 1990s. Throughout his time of running and seeking refuge, Ishmael struggles to fulfill the basic needs that are found …show more content…

He struggled with the first level of the pyramid, physiological necessity, as he struggled to locate food. While wandering through the forest he finds himself contemplating eating an unknown fruit that he witnesses the birds eating. He mentions to himself, “It was either take the chance and eat this fruit that might poison me or die of hunger.” (Beah 51) This reveal the desperation that he faced, as he is forced to make a decision to eat an unknown fruit jeopardizing his life. Ishmael also found himself in danger and never felt comfort or safety. Days at a time he would by running through the forest and slept in trees. There was a constant fear of death that surrounded him due to a lack of security and safety. During the time he spent in the war, he struggled to fulfill the most basic needs of human survival. Once he was admitted into the war he was able to receive these two things, as they provided food and shelter for him. However, Ishmael was still impoverished by the top three tiers of Maslow’s pyramid. Once he was discharged as being a soldier, he would receive the chance to gain the other …show more content…

The pyramid is designed to have the most fundamental needs located on the bottom and progesses upwards. In A Long Way Gone, the reader follows Ishmael and his journey with the pyramid as they witness him regaining the needs he had lost in the war. When he was forced to run away from his home, he struggled to complete the first two tiers of the pyramid. He was luckily able to regain these things when he participated in the army to avenge his family’s death, but still lacks the other three teirs of the pyramid. Once he was dismissed from the army, he attains love and a sense of belonging, confidence in himself, along with coming to terms with the war, and his place in it. The journey that Ishmael embarked reaped him of his childhood and the basic neccessities that humans need, and he struggles to find them again after a traumatic experience in

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