Symbolism In A Long Way Gone

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A Long Way Gone. This heartbreaking true story of young Ishmael Beah’s life during the Sierra Leone civil war. When he was twelve years old, Beah's village is attacked while he is away performing in a rap group with friends. Among the confusion, violence, and uncertainty of the war, Ishmael, his brother, and four friends rush from village to village in search of food and shelter, trying their hardest to avoid the rebel soldiers. Their day-to-day life is fall of struggle and grief, wondering if they will ever live to see another day The boys find themselves committing acts they would never have believed themselves capable of, such as stealing food from children. This story embodies a story of survival and the willingness to survive even…show more content…
Deviance is departing from usual or accepted standards, this is relevant in this book because the main character Ishmael is deviating from his own perspective of himself. In the beginning he was a young carefree kid but throughout the civil war, he discovered a side of him that he never knew was their. By deviating from his own perspective of himself, he was able to realize how truly strong he was. There are three concepts of deviance, symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and the conflict theory. Social interacts focuses on symbolism and communication within a community and this is relevant in this story through Ishmael’s journey though rehabilitation. He was able to use communication his problems and determine a way to overcome any situation by sharing his story with others. Functionalism explains social institutions as a collective means to meet individual as well as societal needs. This is also evident in the rehabilitation camps. The UNICEF group was trying to take children that were apart of a violent group and attempt to bring back out the child in them. The last is conflict theory, this is a theory claiming that society is in a state of conflict due to competition for limited resources. The limited resource in this case is the race for power within Sierra Leone. The rebel soldiers were fighting for total control over the government and the military groups were doing the same. These three categories include the story of a society that was falling apart and desperately trying to regain its strength. Societies may only function when all groups learn how to coexist peacefully and in a productive manor and by unleashing violence on innocent civilians is no way to gain
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