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A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah - Assignment Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: ‘A Long Way Gone’ by Ishmael Beah This is a gripping story, a story that leaves one extremely pensive upon reading it. It revolves around a young character by the name Ishmael; it tells about his luck that helped him to escape from the 1991 civil war in Sierra Leone, his homeland, which saw him seek refuge in Guinea before a Good Samaritan finally aided his departure to the US where his life dramatically changed…
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A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
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Download file to see previous pages He narrates his ordeal passionately, giving all the finer details that leave your mouth agape and wondering in awe. Ishmael wrote this book to highlight the plight of child soldiers and the kind of trials and tribulations that they undergo. This was a protest letter of some sort to the various authorities, particularly in countries where there are rampant cases of very young boys being forced into the army to fight enemies. In the book, Ishmael covered death as a theme and indeed it stands out because people are being killed; Ishmael only survives by a freak of chance. Ishmael, together with the other child soldiers, experiences nothing but brutality; he faces problems which almost necessitate his death. For instance, if not for the timely intervention of UNICEF to rescue Ishmael and youths alike after three years of fighting in the army against fierce rebels, he would have been nothing but dead meat. With further assistance of Laura Simms, Ishmael travels to the United States of America, to New York City, where he proceeded to finish high school and graduate from college. Ishmael becomes an advocate and gets involved in a number of international organizations that deal with aiding children who are forced to be soldiers in their respective countries. He wrote this book to show the whole world how him and the other young boys, while in Sierra Leone, lead extremely brutal lives full of adversity. This is clearly brought out when at some point, as they see a fascinating beauty of the ocean, they are forced to get through a torture of walking on hot sand that burns their feet, a scene that reminds one of the simple truth – pain is sometimes so close to pleasure. They initially are taken care of by a Good Samaritan, a fisherman, and make a day of it. But it doesn’t take long before they get captured by some fierce villagers who are so scared of them that, in fact, threaten to kill them. Fortunately, they get saved by cassette tapes. Ishmael really wanted to show people how dangerously a child soldier lives and how seeing tomorrow to such children happens normally by sheer luck; he demonstrates that point when he recounts the incident when he was so scared of death every time that eventually it makes him wonder out loud: “how many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?” (Beah, 2008). At some point, the story becomes sad when Ishmael can’t get sleep, there are constant noises around, dogs are howling and running from one place to the other and all he can think about is how something bad is going to happen. The noises wake up one of his comrades, Alhaji, he suspects that something is wrong but ignores that feeling and goes back to sleep. When morning comes, Ishmael and Alhaji start to wake up the other friends. Unfortunately, Saidu doesn’t respond when they talk to him. They try to check if there’s something wrong with him and realize that he is dead. The two prepare his body ready for burial because in that village, it’s an abomination to let a dead body to stay unburied overnight. Another important theme that Ishmael intended to cover and successfully managed to do was enmity. He wanted to bring to the fore the fact that as a child soldier, one is exposed to real and even at ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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