It is as if we now live in a perpetual present where memory has currency only as a means of securing social standing. It is into this culture of the mundane, melodramatic and often downright stupid that Ishmael Beah's memoir A Long Way Gone is thrust. It may seem strange to greet with relief a book that chronicles the brutal life of a former child soldier, but given what our society considers printworthy, it is refreshing that the memories and reflections of year-old Ishmael Beah receive attention.
When he is 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 his friends wander from village to village in search of food and shelter.
Their day-to-day existence is a struggle of survival, and the boys find themselves committing acts they would never have believed themselves capable of, such as stealing food from children. Eventually, Ishmael is conscripted as a soldier by the army and he becomes the very thing he feared: The army becomes his family and he is brainwashed into believing that each rebel death may avenge his own family's slaughter.
The boy soldiers become addicted to cocaine, marijuana, and "brown brown," which give them the courage to fight and the ability to repress their emotions in times of war. Ishmael is taken to a rehabilitation center, where he struggles to understand his past and to imagine a future.
The love and compassion he finds at the center from a nurse named Esther opens up an understanding and forgiveness within himself. Ishmael is welcomed by his extended family in Freetown and is again saved by their support and kindness.
Ishmael is invited along with other children of war to New York City to tell his story to the United Nations.
He learns that others like him have suffered and survived. He meets Laura Simms, a storyteller and his future foster mom, and sees the importance of sharing his experience with the world in hopes of preventing such horrors from happening to other children.
After Ishmael returns to Freetown, Sierra Leone, a coup by the RUF and the military ousts the civilian government, and the war Ishmael has been avoiding catches up with him. After his uncle's death, Ishmael flees Sierra Leone for neighboring Guinea and eventually makes his way to his new life in the United States.Summary.
Ishmael returns to his Uncle's home in Freetown and begins the school year. The students know that he was a boy soldier and fear that he'll snap at any moment and hurt them, so they sit apart and refuse to speak to Ishmael and Mohamed.
Ishmael begins calling Mohamed his brother so that neither of them have to explain their past. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah pp, Fourth Estate, £ As the media grows increasingly concerned with our private lives, and individuals in the west have come to understand that the. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah pp, Fourth Estate, £ As the media grows increasingly concerned with our private lives, and individuals in the west have come to understand that the quickest route to fame is to shamelessly reveal all, the art of the memoir has become debased.
A Long Way Gone “A Long Way Gone”, a memoir about a Sierra Leonean young boy who is a “child of war” has many themes in the novel but what is the most important. Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.
It helps middle and high school students understand Ishmael Beah's literary masterpiece. A Long Way Gone, One of his first steps is writing this book to give others a little window into the terrible realities of war.
It's definitely the. A Long Way Gone. Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone is a sobering firsthand telling of his time as a child soldier during Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war from to