Ultimately, there is a disconnect from reality when the addiction takes hold. Without the drugs, as in Benin Home, Beah becomes aggressive and the boys resort to raiding the hospital to quell their hunger. When the drugs begin to wear off, Beah's headaches return - as do images of slaughter. Violent movies, like the drugs, help to create a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere for the boy soldiers. They would often go on attacks in the middle of films like Rambo or Commando, sometimes acting out techniques seen in the movies on the battlefield, and then pick up where they left off when returning to base.
The reality of war bleeds into the fiction of war films, which helps to further disconnect the soldiers from the truth of situation. Beah's almost cinematic nightmares feel like a product of this conditioning and only through rehabilitation is he able to confront and discuss his wartime actions. When he is being trained, Beah learns to channel his rage and seek vengeance for his family.
Though he had spent months suppressing his emotions for the sake of survival, Lieutenant Jabati and his men encourage Beah and the boys to tap into the fear and anguish in order to kill. This gives the boys a personal motivation for each kill; though it is unlikely they are targeting the actual rebels who murdered their families. Jabati also exploits his authority by staging contests where the person who kills a prisoner fastest is the "winner".
When Beah wins, there is a sense that Jabati is proud of him. In a way, Jabati becomes a father figure to the boys. In creating a power dynamic between them, Beah's trust is shattered. It takes the efforts of nurse Esther and other aid workers to begin rebuilding Beah's trust in adults. How did the boys' behavior change throughout their time in rehabilitation? The boys are still in soldier mode when the arrive at Benin Home; when they meet other refugee children who were RUF, a fight ensues and people die.
Beah and his friends are resistant to schooling and talking about their experiences. They are still in survival mode, unable to trust anyone and suffering through withdrawal from drugs. Beah and his friends take unauthorized trips to Freetown, and the staff has no choice but to start taking them into the city - but they also bribe the boys into remaining in class. This action - along with Esther's gift of a Walkman and rap tapes - is a moment where the aid workers show respect for the boys at Benin Home.
Slowly but surely, with the help of their caretakers, the boys begin to open up about their time at war. When the drugs subside for Beah, his headaches return with a vengeance. It takes him a long time to be able to cope with his new surroundings, as he had gotten used to living without hope of a life on the other side of war. He finds the city is different than he expected, as he had envisioned people racing down the street in sports cars. Beah sees a world outside of violence and war - a world that is very different from Sierra Leone.
He learns the word "snow" and repeatedly visits the dreamlike Times Square. Mohamed: Ishmael's best friend from his home village, whom Ishmael is reunited with at the UNICEF rehabilitation center where Ishmael has already been for several months. Mohamed was meant to go with Ishmael to the talent show in the beginning of the story but had to stay behind to help his father work.
Plot summary[ edit ] Before the RUF attack[ edit ] The book starts with Ishmael Beah, his older brother Junior, and their friend Talloi traveling from their village of Mogbwemo to Mattru Jong in order to perform in a talent show. Ishmael, Junior, and their friend dance and sing rap music. Thinking they would return the following day, they tell no one of their leaving. The three are able to flee the village without the rebels following them.
They decide to head back home. On the way, it turns out that their village was also captured by the RUF. According to an old man who was sitting outside the village, most of the people had fled to a village on the Sierra Leone coast. Ishmael, Junior, and their friend decide to travel there in order to locate their families. On their way, they encounter multiple other villages. They are accepted into another village on the grounds that they help with the farming. After months, the village is attacked.
Caught by surprise, Ishmael, Junior, and their friend split up and run into the swamps. It is unknown what happens to his friends afterwards. Ishmael roams around the wilderness by himself for a while, until he meets up with another group of traveling boys whom he recognizes from his home village. The boys then travel together to another village on the coast. Many refugees fled to this village because the Sierra Leone Armed Forces occupied it.
In search of safety, the group of boys and Ishmael go to that village, but soon leave. Ishmael then learns from a woman from his hometown that Junior, his younger brother Ibrahim, and his parents are safe in another village with many others from Mattru Jong. Just before they reach the village, the boys meet a man named Gasemu whom Ishmael knew from Mattru Jong. Gasemu tells them that Ishmael's family are indeed safe in the village, and ask the boys to help him carry bananas back to that village.
However, moments before they reach the town, it is attacked by the RUF. Although their bodies are not found among the dead or in the burning house where they lived, Ishmael assumes that his family is dead.
Devastated, and believing that Gasemu is to blame for his not being able to see his family on time, Ishmael attacks Gasemu but is stopped by the other boys. They are then chased into the forest by remaining RUF soldiers, and Gasemu dies from being shot, leaving Ishmael more saddened.
Recruitment and life as a child soldier[ edit ] The boys then settle into another village protected by the army. After many uneventful days, the lieutenant in charge of the troops in the village announced that the RUF was beginning to assault the village.
The lieutenant said that in order for the people to survive, they must contribute to the war effort by enlisting in the army; escape was not an option. Ishmael becomes a junior lieutenant for his skill in executing prisoners of war and is put in charge of a small group of other child soldiers.
As a child soldier Ishmael is exposed to extreme violence and drug usage. The drugs he used are described in the book as " brown brown ", "white pills", cocaine, and marijuana. Rescue and rehabilitation[ edit ] In January , during one of the roll calls, a group of men wearing UNICEF shirts round up several boys and takes them to a shelter in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown , where they and several other child soldiers are to be rehabilitated.
However, the children cause much trouble for the volunteer staffers at the facility, with Ishmael experiencing symptoms of drug withdrawal as well as troubling memories of his time as a child soldier. Despite the violence caused by the children, one of the staffers, Nurse Esther, becomes interested in Ishmael, learning about his childhood love of rap music and purchasing him a rap cassette and Walkman , when she takes Ishmael and his friend Alhaji to the city.
While seeking news of his family, Beah and his friends find themselves constantly running and hiding as they desperately strive to survive in a land rendered unrecognizable by violence The contention, however, lies in whether this addiction may be described as glorious.
It is fought nobly and bravely, and immortalizes, through song and story as Homer himself had done, the champions of either army The novel demonstrates a combination of styles and a great plot with many details, making the story very enjoyable. It displays how much courage, power, and dignity a person needs to get over warfare It conducts a sort of shock to the reader.The consequences of this mistrust in people are clear as he travels essay Sierra Leon while being incessantly threatened and assumed a college of the RUF. We will write a custom essay sample on War Destroys Trust: a Long Way Gone or any similar topic only for you Order Now Long of this book is about the ongoing struggle within Ishmael for trying to stay alive and deciding who to trust. The phenomena of war and trust can coexist only if you have an ability to differentiate your friends from enemies. Ishmael struggles throughout how to write name on college paper book to ideas alive, and gone decides to trust no one, but this could be detrimental to way survival.
.He sometimes feels these memories are a burden, reminding him as they do of a time when his life was much better than his current circumstances. Mambu and Ishmael meet at the shelter for the first time. When he is being trained, Beah learns to channel his rage and seek vengeance for his family. What is the name-giving ceremony Beah, p. Ishmael is eventually claimed as a child soldier for the Sierra Leone Armed Forces at age Bring the evidence of the episodes in the book where the young people behave improperly and with no respect to the old people. The book is somewhat educational due to the substantial events such as the problems that have and are currently occurring in some countries of Africa. He is killed in the first battle that Ishmael and his squad fight in. Beah's almost cinematic nightmares feel like a product of this conditioning and only through rehabilitation is he able to confront and discuss his wartime actions. The drugs he used are described in the book as " brown brown ", "white pills", cocaine, and marijuana.
Ishmael then learns from a woman from his hometown that Junior, his younger brother Ibrahim, and his parents are safe in another village with many others from Mattru Jong. Later Tommy died because of the illness. Beah's experiences force him to deny his emotional side in order to survive. They are accepted into another village on the grounds that they help with the farming. While Beah's memoir is written largely in a matter-of-fact tone, he does use several devices to illustrate the theme of loss of innocence: use of flashbacks, symbolism, and nature motifs.
The unpredictability of his life dictates that he stay detached. Our writing service is one of the cheapest ones. Ishmael tells parts of his war stories and dreams to Esther and soon comes to fully trust her. In such a way, the children were forced to make their choice. The boys then travel together to another village on the coast. The book allows the young readers to understand what the war means, and what the war is like for a small child, for a thirteen-year-old soldier.
After months, the village is attacked. The reality of war bleeds into the fiction of war films, which helps to further disconnect the soldiers from the truth of situation. It was an awful time of violence. In difficult times, he clings to moments from happier years - especially those occurring before his parents' divorce.
Questions were also raised about Beah's description of a battle between child soldiers at a UNICEF camp, in which 6 people were said to have been killed.
In search of safety, the group of boys and Ishmael go to that village, but soon leave. Because of this, the authors are able to dispel misconceptions surrounding war. Adoption[ edit ] Eventually, Ishmael becomes adopted by his Uncle Tommy in the city and settles down with him and his family on the outskirts of Freetown. As you can guess the narrator told a true story from his childhood. When the boys bury Saidu, they know that they will never visit to his gravesite, despite the villager's efforts to comfort them with an open invitation to return.
With plain and simple words Ismael Beah leads the reader through a memorable journey through the very hell of the war, with its twisted ideas, with the circumstances and adults, who can ruin and wrench away the childhood, although not very happy, as the story runs in African country, but still - the childhood, with all its fortunes and misfortunes. The consequences of this mistrust in people are clear as he travels through Sierra Leon while being incessantly threatened and assumed a member of the RUF. Their love was irrevocable and unconditional. Ishmael was a loyal soldier and he killed a lot of enemies. Were the children able making the choice?