Music can bring the brightest of joys that keeps us moving through our dull and boring lives. An example of this joy is Ishmael Beah’s life as a boy soldier in his book A Long Way Gone. As he tells you his story, he tells of his dance group with his friends, the times he heard music in the middle of war, and how music saved him from the madness that brewed within him. Music has the unique ability to create peace in a person’s life despite the difficulties surrounding them, and to bring a constant reminder of who they are as a person. Before Ishmael was thrown into the chaos of war, he and his brother and friends were part of a rap dance group. The carefree nature and fun music of this group reflects his thoughts and emotions before the …show more content…
When Ishmael is going through rehabilitation, he meets a nurse named Esther who tries to become his friend by giving him a gift that contained a Walkman and cassette. “When I unwrapped it, I jumped up and hugged her” (Beah 154), Beah says. When Ishmael realizes that he is once again able to listen to music he is overcome with a joy he has not felt in a long time. Esther takes advantage of this and creates a friendship with Ishmael, who originally comes to see her to listen to music but eventually forms an actual relationship with the UNICEF worker. Esther also recreates Ishmael’s childhood by bringing back the things he loved before the war. “ You can write the lyrics of the songs you like on the album and we can learn to sing them together, if you want” (Beah 163).Writing down lyrics to songs was one of the things that Ishmael did with his brother and friends before the war. This brings back vivid memories as the songs are inextricably tied with his childhood, and Ishmael finds peace in Esther and she becomes his first friend outside of the war. During rehabilitation Ishmael is struggling through the nightmares of war, but with the help of Esther and music he finds himself once
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In Ishmael Beah’s personal memoir, A Long Way Gone, music courses through the story quite often. Music is first seen in Ishmael’s peaceful childhood. He and his friends enjoy singing and dancing along to music, in particular, Rap Music. As the story progresses, and the war becomes more prevalent in the young boys lives, rap continues to play a substantial role in their lives, just in a different way. At the end of Ishmael’s life story, there is yet another role that music plays.
He then moves to Mattru Jong to live with his father. The war hits when he is on a trip with his friends and his brother to see his grandmother. He then has to run away from the war leaving his family behind him. ishmael continues running from the war for most of his childhood and eventually losses his brother and the rest of his family in the process.
Hiba Shaqra A Long Way Gone: Typed Reading Log Key Quote Insightful Comment Discussion Question “Perhaps it was necessary he This quote depicts Ishmael’s first Does Ishmael end up cling to false hopes, since they war experience. A child, clearly using this tactic, this had kept him running away dead, had lain in front of him.
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.
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.
When the children were not in the field fighting they were forced to watch movies about war. They were surrounded by the violence all day every day. They were brainwashed to believe that they had to fight to survive. “My squad is my family, my gun is my provider, and protector, and my rule is to kill or be killed” (Beah, 116). Prior to the war and violence Ishmael lived a normal life but once he was surrounded by the war he was forced to have a survival mentality the he believed justified the killings.
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.
If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die” (54). The words of Ishmael 's father help galvanize Beah to continue on his journey although it is harsh and unbearable. Beah is struggling with depression and isolation, but the words of his father give him a sense of hope and light at the end of the tunnel that he will survive. The war was harsh, and the cruel and unjust treatment of the soldiers causes Ishmael Beah to live his childhood in fear and discomfort. He exclaims that “we were always either at the front lines, watching a war movie, or doing drugs.
Later in the story, Ishmael found out where his family had supposedly been seen last and right when he got to the village he saw it being burned down and shot up by Rebels and Ishmael realized his family was dead (Beah 117). Later in the story, the army soldiers told Ishmael and others that
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.
In the book “A Long Way Gone” Ishmael has to overcome his fears and desperation especially when he ends up in villages that dislike little kids because of the assumption that they are rebel soldiers. Sometimes he comes face to face with death like the time when some of the villagers who were suffering the civil war, capture Ishmael and his new accompanied friends they were saying ”We told him we were students and this was a big misunderstanding. The crowds shouted, drown the rebels”(Beah 38). When the village guards found a rap cassette in Ishmael's pocket they played the music and it pleased the chief and so they were excused from execution and as a result they were offered to also stay in the village for how long they wanted. This part in the story paves a path from Ishmael to talk and although that was one of his major obstacles pertaining to his life he succeeded and faced adversity by pleading that they were not rebels but
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.
Music has always been a part of my life. In definition, it is “vocal or instrumental sounds combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” Ever since I was a young child, I have loved music. The strong, steady beats, the entrancing melodies, and the lyrics that vary between heartwarming and heart-wrenching have always had an unexplainable effect on my life. Music seems to have the ability to change certain aspects of my world.