Imagine your home being burnt before your eyes, your family unjustly slaughtered, witnessing innocent people shot without reason, imagine being behind the trigger. Experiencing traumatic events such as these will negatively affect anyone’s character. Ishmael Beah, a child in Sierra Leone, experienced just that. In A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah uses his life story do demonstrate how childhood and innocence are not synonymous.
In the book A Long Way Gone a young innocent boy named Ishmael Beah became a soldier at 13 years old. He encounters lots of situations where he has to choose whether he wants to survive or kill to stay alive. During the story, Ishmael was converted from a young boy into a careless, numb soldier. Ishmael was also separated from his family and all throughout his journey he hoped that he would find his family again. Ishmael’s hope to find his family is what kept him going on his journey. 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
Forest fires engulf tall rows of trees, turning green leaves and the homes of animals into ashes. Although fires leave a destructive trail of darkened groves, they create a chance for new life to develop. Nutrients find their way through the ashes into new soil, a new life begins to flourish, and old wreckages create new homes. Ishmael Beah, the author of ‘A Long Way Gone’, tells his readers his story that one man could never forget; new opportunities and chances for a better life often flourish in the ashes created from past challenges. The book ‘a long way gone’ is based on true events experienced by the author. 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.
He says “these days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past” (20). Ishmael Beah is struggling internally with his haunting dreams of his new life, and the dreams of his old life that he wishes he could return to. Just like his home country is under convulsion, so is his mind and heart. Beah has a nightmare that then triggers him to remember his family that is lost at war. He remembers his father saying to him “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. 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. There was no time to be
To a child in a country of war, life can change “rapidly in a matter of seconds and no one [has] any control over anything. [They have] yet to...implement survival tactics, which [is] what it came down to” (Beah 29). Children who become soldiers are given hardly any choice because their families are usually dead, and without the army they have no family or way to survive during the war. The book “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah tells the story of how Ishmael became a child soldier in Sierra Leone during the war. The title “A Long Way Gone” can be taken in three different ways. The first being that it could mean his family is away from him, the second is him losing his humanity as a child soldier, and the third is after being saved, and not
I have recently read A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a well written story about his transformation from a young boy to a child soldier. He was taken when he was just a little boy, still enjoying his childhood and forced to fight and murder people. This isn’t the only transformation that I have seen when reading this amazing story. I see his transformation from a child to a soldier and a soldier to a civilized adult, something he struggles with a lot. In this essay, I will be telling you about the transformations I seen while I was reading this novel.
People should read it because not only is it informative but relatable in some aspects. The theme of family and love universal, anyone can relate to it. Everybody has somebody that they continue to fight for, someone who is their everything and they’ll do anything for because that’s how much they love them. Ishmael’s story explores that, how his family kept him going. His story also informs those who are less knowledgeable in the history of Sierra Leone. Ishmael does a magnificent job in telling his story, he envelops the reader and does not let go until the very end. But some will not want to be let
What is the meaning of adversity? Adversity is the difficulties, misfortunes, and sometimes even trials one must face in order to jump over an obstacle. WWll, holocaust, Racism are all adversities that pertain to individuals and events in the past and the present. One of the events that happened was in Sierra Leone and it was a Civil war between different African tribes. This event is explained through the eyes of the main character in the book “A Long Way Gone”, and his name is Ishmael Beah. How does one react to facing adversity, well that answer can be found in the book as Ishmael Beah progresses and get older and his actions and thoughts start to gradually change as he gets acclimated to the life of a boy soldier. The actions that Ishmael take throughout the story shape the person who he becomes who overtakes adversity itself. Ishmael and his friends traveled long roads and rivers but along
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. While music’s symbolism did change throughout the book, ultimately, the symbolism in the beginning matches that of the end.
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. Paradoxes are not only shown in A Long Way Gone, but also illustrated in other pieces of literature such as short stories, essays, and articles.
The book “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” is an autobiography about a boy named Ishmael who went through so much at a young age. This book should be read because it’s a story you could relate to and give you a perspective of how society is today than it was before and how it has affected people across the world. On the (front cover of the book) Carolyn See from the Washington Post says “Everyone in the world should read this book…We should read It to learn about the world and about what it means to be human.” She’s right, reading this book will provide you with facts you never known and could change the way you see things today.
It may seem to be an understatement to say the child soldier underwent significant changes during each period. The war molded him into a hardened killer, and rehabilitation shaped him back into a functional member of society. However, what is astounding is that Beah came out of both experiences with traits of leadership. Granted, his use of those traits served two widely different purposes. As a soldier, Beah built up skill and experience with combat, allowing him to gain higher rankings and respect from those who fought with him. He cooperated well with his fellow soldiers, working with their plans and directing his own. Beah even remarked he felt better about being a soldier as a result of his successes (124). By the time he was put into rehabilitation, though he lost what he gained as a soldier, he later gained the proficiency of speaking about his experiences. Through his connections with others from rehabilitation, he climbed up so he could eventually speak on the war and raise awareness about Sierra Leone’s child soldiers (198). Being a soldier and being a speaker as a survivor showcased Beah’s incredible
Symbolism is used to help you not only understand the characters but also helps develop a coherent theme. In the long way gone the symbol used to help explain Ishmael’s struggles comes straight from his own pocket in the form of a beat-up cassette. It follows him along on the journey and with its demise you also see the tragic end of the childhood it has represented.
In Ishmael Beah’s memoir A Long Way Gone, Beah’s images of nature reflect both his inability to think clearly and the distressing state of the Sierra Leone. Beah’s symbolism and images of nature reveals that he is unable to see hope for the future. “On the third day, I found myself in the middle of a thick forest, standing beneath huge trees whose leaves and branches made it difficult to see the sky” (49-50). Clearly, the sky represents the future for Beah, or freedom. The trees represent the war that is occurring in the Sierra Leone. Beah’s imagery portrays how the war made him feel like he would never be free again. Since Beah is so young, he knows he has a long life ahead of him. This war places such a large burden on him that Beah feels
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