Music In A Long Way Gone

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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

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