A Long Way Gone Character Analysis

1035 Words5 Pages

Desire is the need for an object, a feeling or a person. One can have a desire for something that is essential for survival, such as water or food, but desire could be used to harm others or oneself. Through A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, Ishmael’s perspective of desire was altered dramatically. These desires were changed from his surroundings or events that were taking place. In the book, Ishmael was easily manipulated by his desires. 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 …show more content…

While Ishmael and his friends were traveling through the forest, they approach soldiers who later took them to a village. The village was in desperate need of soldiers, so Ishmael and his friends joined the army. In the beginning of the training, Ishmael’s corporal started to alter Ishmael’s thoughts into thinking that he must kill by demoralizing the idea of causing death. “Visualize the banana tree as the enemy, the rebels who killed your parents, your family, and those who are responsible for everything that has happened to you,’ the corporal screamed.”(Beah, 112). The corporal uses the rebels as a way to control the children 's emotions and use them for himself. He makes Ishmael’s desire start to transition towards creating destruction. Later, Ishmael and his friend’s enter into the battlefield. During this time, Ishmael kills his first victim and his desire completely turns into killing sprees. “I raised my gun and pulled the trigger, and I killed a man.” “Every time I stopped shooting to change magazines and saw my two young lifeless friends, I angrily pointed my gun into the swamp and killed more people”(Beah, 118). This is the first time he killed a person. He used the death of his friends to create anger to kill more people. He needed a reason for the killing, but later he makes it, so killing is a need for him and without it he goes insane. 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

Open Document