Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Period Two-A Long Way Gone Discussion Chapters 6-11

180 comments:

  1. What were your initial thoughts of the boys journey and the reactions of people who saw them?

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    1. I felt a little angry at the villagers, because they're just a small group of young boys who have been surviving alone for a really long time, and only one person in most of the villages actually trusts them.

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    2. My thoughts while reading about the boys "greeting" by the different tribes was shocked with the villages that attacked them and very surprised that just the cassette tapes basically saved Jhaemel twice, as well as his companions.

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    3. I thought that the matter of fact way that Beah talked about their journey really made it feel almost surreal. I found myself switching between imagining what it would be like to be in their situation and just in disbelief at all of their hardships.

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    4. I felt bad for the boys, they are not trying to harm anyone, but because of the horrors of the war people assume the worst in this group of young boys.

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  2. The safety in numbers would have been safer if they had both genders.

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    1. I agree. They would've looked less suspicious and dangerous.

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    2. I think they would have been safer approaching villages (maybe, if the villagers thought that they weren't taking girls captive), but talking about safety from the armies it gives them even more of a reason for capture hem to use the girls as sex slaves and the boys as soldiers. I believe that variety in age would be safer in approaching villages than variety in gender.

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    3. A group of 7 boys does not look good when there's a war going on with boy soldiers.

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    4. I think that having girls and boys would make the villagers not be as afraid of them. But I agree with Electa that the girls could become sex slaves and the boys turn into boy soldiers.

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  3. How would this story change if Ishmael was a girl, how would it affect his life or his ability to survive through the war?

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    1. If Ishmael was a girl, he would have been greeted less harshly than the group of boys. A mixed gender group, quite honestly, would be better off than the group of just boys.

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    2. Primarily, there would not be the danger of being taken and made a boy soilders. I believe it was said most of the casualties were male. However there is the danger of being raped like Sadiu's sisters.

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    3. If Ishmael was a girl, I think he may have had a better chance of surviving through the war. As a girl he might be able to get through villages easier, however if rebels caught him (as a girl) he would likely be raped and made a sex-slave and the rebels would make her/him do women's work like cooking for them. I think that either way life in the war would be horrible and survival would be unlikely.

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  4. I think that they were safer on their own because while there is safety in numbers there is also danger in a crowd that will attract the rebels, and if they are in hiding they are safer on their own in the wild versus being in a town that the rebels know about.

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  5. I believe the boys are safer on their own because the villages are targets, but there is also the fact of the boys being exposed from unknown dangers. Also the rebels are focusing on larger targets.

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  6. Ishmael and his friends spend a great deal of time recalling the past and how things used to be. What does this tell us about the circumstances they arein? Why are these flashbacks important?

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    1. Theses flashbacks can show us how drastically the war has changed their lives. The flashbacks are also what give Ishmael the motivation to keep going to find his family.

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    2. Saidu talks about how everyday he feels like part of him dies, do you think that when he did finally pass that his mental fear of dying was part, or even all of the cause?.

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    3. The amount of flashbacks demonstrates the dramatic change in their lives. Each boy went from happy lives with loving families to running for their lives and facing death on a daily basis. The memories of how life was is incentive for the boys to survive and find their families.

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    4. I think Ishmael's having a lot of flashbacks to his family because he doesn't know where they are so he keeps thinking about them. He misses them so he's remembering all of their good times together.

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    5. I think that it gives these boys an escape from reality, and it gives them happy memories to try and balance out the horrid images they've seen.

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  7. I think that Ishmael was safer on his own in the jungle, but it was better for him to be with other boys because they could find food and shelter and be there for each other emotionally,like Beah mentioned.

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    1. His little spot with the tree and the snake was safe but I feel like he would have gone crazy being alone any longer. The boys sticking together I think psychologically helps each other but the the villagers around them it just makes them seem like another group of boy soldiers.

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    2. I definitely agree with this. Being one person alone in a jungle makes them less likely to be found. But, as a group they have found villages and food together. Being together gives them a sense of humanity. It makes him feel less like savages.

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    3. I think your right but I also think this will tear Ishmael apart mentally. If he looses all of his traveling companions it will be like loosing his family again, because this has become his temporary family.

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  8. I think that the boys are safer on their own because they are not in a major city so they have a smaller chance of being attacked by the rebels.

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  9. There is a safety in numbers because their group helps contribute to getting food and being with people helps boost morale. However, in a group of boys, many villagers they may come by automatically think that they are rebels and immediately want to hurt them. If Ishmael traveled alone he may not have had as many problems passing through villages.

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  10. I believe that being in a group of six boys gave them an advantage. Most of the boys are all thirteen with one sixteen year old. They understand each other and tend to get along better. When they belong to a village, of course its good to be in numbers but it is also the are teenage boys so they don't tend to like rules or following rules.

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  11. Why are the rebels destroying all the villages? If they are trying to defeat the government, razing entire towns isn't going to do that much against the government.

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    1. By causing chaos and catastrophe you will eventually get government intervention (after all a government needs people to govern), which is what they want because then the real fighting can begin.

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  12. I am wondering why the boys keep going to the villages and civilization. They know they are going to be greeted with hostility and that the villages are being targeted by the rebels. Why not just hide out in the forest as a group?

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  13. Being on their own, they are safer because the rebels are not necessarily looking for them. The rebels would rather attack villages where there are more people.

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  14. I think Ishmael is safer on his own because the rebels aren't targeting scragglers in the forest, but major villages.

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  15. How do you think the rap tapes that Ishmael has affect the chief's decision to execute the boys? What does it mean to him?

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    1. I think that it really shows the chief that this is just a group of boys, afraid of the war. It shows him the innocence of the boys.

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    2. The rap tapes represent childhood almost, the idea that these boys who are being turned to murderers once sang and danced in talent shows to rap music and had fun. It's a reminder that the boys are still innocent and are just children who want help.

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    3. I think that in the beginning, when Ishmael mentioned that they were lucky they (the rap group) had multiple layers of clothes, but thinking back, I think that was foreshadowing to the music as well. They were lucky to have the rap music and have discovered that because it saved his life in multiple instances, as well as hold memories from his past. The villages and tribe leaders could have seen the music as bad, like when one of the leaders calls it 'devil's music', but then the other boy from Mattru Jong saved them. I think the music also proved that the boys were not soldiers because soldiers would have been stripped of their belongings.

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  16. Do you think that the boy's family was the only motivation for the boys to keep going, or was there some deeper need to survive and keep going?

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    1. I think that fear itself was enough to keep them going but at some point they would have tired out so the boys have the motivation of their families and friends back home. Also the images Ishmael saw, like the family in the van, could have evoked some motivation.

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    2. I think that the boys were to young to consider the other option, death. They just keep going.

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  17. When Ishmael was alone, he was desperate for human interaction. Do you think that being with other people overrides the need to remain safe?

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    1. If he stayed alone then he would be safer from the rebels, but if he stayed alone he might be in even more danger from himself. He could eventually go insane from lack of interaction between other human beings.

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    2. I feel like all the boys being together creates a sense of safety in numbers, but I think still feel like safety is very important.

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    3. I think that the instinct to remain alive and safe overrides the longing for human interaction, especially when in a situation such a Beah's anyone you meet could be harmful

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    4. This could go either way. I said above that he probably would have gone crazy at some point being in the jungle alone for that long. He would have run out of food too. But being in a group of boys all around his age, that can be dangerous for themselves. The rebels could catch them or the villagers out of fear could kill them. But human contact has importance.

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    5. In the situation Ishmael is in human interaction is crucial. Granted, safety from the rebels an the ability to receive safety and hospitality from villages would be easier to access, but he would lose the motivation to get that safety. The other boys who he eventually found remind him of his old life. Their interaction provides comfort to Ishmael in the war and helps him keep going.

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    6. I think that Ishmael knew that even though his sanity may be at stake that staying hidden was the most important thing to do at the time. On the other hand, going back to when Ishmael was in Mattru Jong and him and his first group of companions went back, even with the rebels still in control of the village, just to look for their family.

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    7. There's always the safety in numbers thought. People tend to feel more safe when there are other people to help you protect yourself, and it gives you someone to talk to other than your own mind. It's both physically and mentally helpful to have someone else to protect and help protect you.

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  18. What is the government army doing to stop the rebels? Are they going back into the towns that the rebels have left? Is there a war front that they are fighting on?

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    1. The government's army is probably grouping up wherever their capital city is. This would give them time to strategize and deflect any rebel attacks, but if they spread out and try to save single villages, they would be outnumbered and killed.

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  19. I think it is interesting that most of the people the boys encounter refuse to give there names. These few people show mercy to the boys while the rest of them show hostility.

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  20. The reality of this story is so far removed from us. Do you think there is any way we can comprehend what these boys were feeling?

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    1. No, there is no way to feel what these boys feel without experiencing terrors like these. We can have sympathy for these boys, but we will never (hopefully) have true empathy.

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    2. The only way you can comprehend what they went though is if you went through that specific situation yourself.

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    3. I believe we can't even begin to understand the pain of losing your whole families, being by yourself, and even not having shoes! This is why the story is such a fast read at some points and slow at others because it is captivating to us yet we don't understand the importance of some aspects.

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    4. I think that there is no way we could even come close to understanding what these boys went through, but by reading this story we can definitely experience a bit of what they went through. While I was reading the book I continued to try and imagine what it would be like, and found that I really couldn't. It really made me appreciate the little things that I take advantage of every day.

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    5. There is no way we can relate to living on a warfront. There is no way we can understand what it is like to face death daily, but some of us can relate to losing people we love unexpectedly. We cannot relate to his specific experiences, but we can use our background of having feelings of loneliness, fear, and determination to sympathize with Ishmael and his companions.

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    6. I think we can try to imagine what it was like but until we lose our family, see those images and are forced to run from those trying to kill you, we can't comprehend what happened.

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    7. I believe that to a certain extent we can understand what they are going though. As we read this book though, parts of it seemed unreal because we haven't experienced anything like this. I had to constantly remind myself that it is non fiction and that it is based on his life. He had to go through this and since we haven't gone though anything like this it is hard to relate and understand what is happening.

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  21. The government was sending troops to villages and sending radios so they knew where the rebels were last.

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    1. Except the help of the government didn't affect the boys or help them hardly.

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  22. Do you think you could keep your sense of humanity if you were in the same situation as Ishmael if so why?

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    1. Personally, no I could not. I would rather die than see everything that I know of disappear. I would rather die than see what Beah saw. For that I respect him because he has taken these terrors and become a stronger man.

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    2. I like to believe I could, though honest no one can really know how they would react in a situation that different compared to what we go through. It's inconceivable to even imagine what Ishmael felt and to try to think that I would be able to live through such a tragic experience.

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    3. I think if I had been expecting it, my mind would be somewhat prepared. At fist I would be frightened, as would anyone else, but I think at some point I would become numb to the events because survival and hunger would always be on my mind.

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  23. What is symbolic about the story of the pig hunter (pg. 53-54)? For instance who is the pig hunter; who are the pigs?

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    1. From the rebel's point of view, the government was probably the pig hunter and the pigs were secretly plotting against them(they are the rebels). When they destroy all the plants, it's like they're destroying all the villages. Then when all the villages, or plants, and destroyed, they can kill the government.

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    2. Wow that is a really good question. I think that the story symbolizes the hope of Beah that there will be someone to stand up for the innocent, like the one observant pig who noticed the plant. I think that it also represents Beah's anger at the war, like the anger of the pigs at the humans.

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    3. Consider this though, could the pig hunter be Ishmael and the wild pigs be the rebels who eventually take down Beah so they all become "wild pigs".

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  24. I think that Beah is safe by himself. Beah is smart enough to know where to go, and where not to go. Beah is able to run if he is in trouble and he doesn't have other people he has to worry about. Beah is a very resourceful and could live on his own, rather than having to rely on others.

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  25. I think it is more important to be safe than to be with other people. Being with other people I think would make it more unsafe because it is harder to stay as a group and it is easier to be seen by the rebels. Also, it is hard to trust almost everybody even young children because you don't know if they are going to hurt you or lose your trust.

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  26. On one hand, I feel that they should be like a family because they would back each other up through think and thin. Also, it would help them by filling the hole of not having their real families with them. But on the other hand, if they are emotionally attached to each other, it will be heartbreaking if something bad happens.

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  27. Beah may be safer on his own, but do you think that he would give up some of that safety for a relationship with other people?

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    1. I think that he would be willing to give up some of this safety for a relationship because even he said that he would sacrifice himself to see his family.

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  28. Do you think the man who helped heal the boys' feet had any fear for them, possibly thinking they were apart of the rebels?

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    1. I think the man wouldn't have cared even if the boys were the rebels because I think the man saw part of himself in the boys, and did recognize that these were just a group of boys with little control of their lives.

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    2. The man saw innocent, hurting, and tiresome boys. Not murderous rebels. He probably felt obligated to help them.

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  29. Why do you think the kind man in the fishing hut helped the boys when everyone else in the village wanted them dead?

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    1. I think that it was because the man saw that these boys needed him. He saw innocent children and did the right thing. I think this is because he assumed the best in everything, as opposed to assuming the worst.

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    2. I think he helped them because he saw that they were still kids and could be hurt too. Especially after seeing their bleeding feet I believe he was able to see through the possibility of them being rebels and was able to see that they were just kids who needed help.

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    3. I think the man in the fishing hut helped the boys because he recognized the innocence and fear in their faces. I think he understood that many of the rebels were forced to be soldiers, and many of them were quite young; and many boys did not want to be rebels and were just orphans trying to find safety.

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  30. I like how Ishmael made the comment about how once there is nothing good left in someones future they will die. This is foreshadowing the death of Saidu. It also foreshadows Ishmael surviving. Obviously Ishmael lived through the war to make this book and teach the world about what so many children are going through.

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  31. I think that Saidu started to give up on himself and the outcome of the war. Saidu became depressed at his current situation, so he just mentally gave up. He did not want to become a rebel, he didn't want to change himself so he decided to give up.

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  32. Before Saidu dies he talks about how his soul was being taken away piece by piece, leading the reader to question whether he died from physical or mental strain. Do you think that humans possess the will to simply not live anymore? Explain.

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    1. I don't think that he could just give up the will to live and that was what killed him. I think that his lack of motivation and faith contributed to his death, but was not the leading cause of it.

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  34. Everyone is gonna say that they would welcome the boys into their house but honestly if 6 boys showed up at my house I can't really see myself letting them stay.

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    1. Especially if there is a war going on and nearly all the children there have been turned into soldiers.

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  35. I do not think I would have been able to treat the boy the way that the old man did because I do not know if they could be trusted or not.

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  36. I believe that the man gave so much toward the boys to try helping them have a future. Without children in the world then there is nothing left for people so the old man wanted to help.

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  37. I am wondering if the fisherman in the hut had given them all that care because his family died. If that's the case, maybe he thinks he can make up for not being able to save his family by caring for these boys.

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    1. Well it talks about how the man was getting married just later that month so I think that the man was just a kind person and knew that these were just boys.

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  38. All trust is lost during this war. Young boys are not looked at as innocent any longer, but as potential threat to hurt their families. If it were me I would probably do the same thing as the villagers. I would want to protect my family, and if I saw a potential threat I would not want to take the chance. I think that the war has brought an instinctive thing to happen to these people, where they just want to protect themselves, and if the threat is some Young men, then they don't know who is bad and who is good.

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  39. WHy do you think the villages were so kind and nice to the boys once they found out they aren't rebels? like the fact that theey gave them food, water, shelter and other amenities.

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    1. The villagers were kind to the boys because they realized that they were just orphans running away from a war that has "robbed them of their childhood." Much of the hospitality was out of sympathy.

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    2. They might just have been sorry for accusing them of being evil. And remember this was just a few villages that did this.

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  40. The way that old man takes care of the boys reminds me of The Blind Side and Michael Oher.

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    1. Just how the man took in the boys because he saw they were struggling. In The Blind Side they take in a homeless boy because he is visibly having a tough time.

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  41. Towards the end of chapter 11 Ishmael says, "Our innocence had been replaced by fear and we had become monsters." How do you think this reflects how the other villagers stereotype the boys because of the war?

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  42. Why are teenagers not trusted in not only the book but everywhere? Do you think that gender has to do with the way teenagers are looked at?

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    1. Well, try to put yourself in that situation where you see a group of fifteen year old guys wandering around at night. What about a couple of girls? It also depends on the location. I walk around with my friends all the time in my neighborhood. My neighbors don't think anything about it, but if they saw a group of guys at night who knows what they might think... no offense to guys.

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    2. Of course there is gender stereotypes. It just seems to be basic humanity. If it had been a group of girls they would be taken in and helped because girls seem to have more innocence. While boys have the ability to pick up a gun and go shoot someone. They seem to have way less of an innocence even though they may be younger and less experienced. Especially in this book though, the rebels are young boys so of course people would initially be scared.

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  43. Would you say that the villagers developed a stereotype for all boys making them "rebels"? How did this stereotype influence them?

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    1. Of course. When there are stories all around the country of boys being turned into soldiers then destroying defenseless villages, I'm pretty sure they'd all be scared, especially of teenage boys.

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  44. Teenage boys are often stereotyped by normal people as "trouble makers". It's the fact that a few boys have ruined it for others.

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  45. Well this idea of having the kids fight for your cause coincides with Stalin's idea of get the kids while they're young and you will have them for life. Also people will have more trouble killing a boy. There is something just morally wrong with that.

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  46. Like Hannah said, there is a double standard. Boys are looked at as trouble makers and that they are the only ones who are able to do any damage. Girls are looked at as if they can't make trouble like boys can. It's almost like girls get a pass and they make most of the trouble because they know that they can get away with it.

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  47. Villages have made the conscientious choice to make a stereotype of anyone who comes into their village as a threat so they can protect the ones they love.

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  48. How has the war brought out the primitive nature of the boys, rebels, villagers and everyone directly influenced by the war?

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    1. The need for survival and food and protection has influenced how everyone acts. The boys are on their own trying to stay alive. The men stay around the villages to defend themselves and their families. The villagers avoid the boys. Everyone is living in fear of each other and the rebels.

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  49. Morals are kind of tossed out of the window during a time of war. So people who often praise elders, decide to leave them behind. Elders will be a burden when these people need to run. No one can afford to take care of these people, and right now people are only concerned for their own lives.

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    1. But the old man did tell them that he was near death and that he would not live through the war. He knew his time was coming and accepted that.

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  50. By comparing the elderly man in the village to the abandonment that some elderly people feel today in nursing homes, what can we see about human nature?

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    1. We can see that when it seems hopeless people tend to abandon people they love to make their own lives easier.

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  51. My grandma has Alzheimer's and lives at assisted living home. One man that lives there has his son in charge of his bank account and everything. His son basically stole all his money and ditched his dad. He just figured that his old dad was basically useless.

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  52. If your parent told you to leave them behind so that you could survive, would you leave them?

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    1. I would listen to what they told me to do but come and look for them after a while.

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    2. No I wouldn't. I think that I would rather die with my family than live without them. Although if I had to go with a sibling I would go and try to protect them.

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    3. I wouldn't leave anyone behind even if I didn't know them because that's not how I was raised and I would put getting them to safety as my highest priority.

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  53. Mrs. Moritz mentioned that we leave people when they are too difficult to care for. If you were in the war, would you leave the old man in the village, would you leave your friends like Beah did when he went off on his own? Would you leave those, like the boy who was too slow to crawl at the very beginning,who were difficult to care for? Why?

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    1. I think that in the beginning of the war I would try to care for everyone I can and help everyone. But as the was goes on and becomes more of a survival of the fittest I would probably do whatever I had to live in hopes of finding my family.

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    2. Follow-up question:
      Why do you think, in most movies, that the heroes are viewed as the people who go back for the underdog? Could you be a hero if you weren't and underdog of you didn't go back for them? Why is survival of the fittest frowned upon, even when it may be the best decision?

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    3. I would love to say that I would take everyone and make it work somehow, but in reality there is no telling what people will do in tight situations, and while we would all love to say that we would bring everyone, the reality is probably not.

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    4. I think you hit it spot on when you said that in today's society survival of the fittest is frowned upon. I think the reason is that we live in a society that always want to save other countries and people. Look what we tried to do in the Middle East with Iraq and Syria. The whole foreign policy of our country relies on our willingness to help other countries. Therefor I think that this sets a mindset in people in our countries that it is our duty to help others, and by not helping you're seen as "bad."

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  54. I think the old man sees these kids as outcasts like him. He sees himself in them and wants to care for them. He wants to help them so that he can leave on a good note.

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  55. Do you think it is harder to try and bring elderly and older people along or leave them behind- even if the elderly people insist on them going?

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    1. I think the physical difficulty of taking the old man with them is minuscule compared to the mental burden of leaving such an innocent and wise old man behind.

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    2. I think that if you left the man behind, you would always regret it. And if you brought him with you, you may or may not regret it.

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  56. This idea of sacrifice is rare during the war, it's almost like the concept of being caring and thoughtful extends only to those in your family or village. If this happened here in Colorado what would you do to help your family and neighbors?

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    1. I would do everything that I could to help my family. I would do anything to keep us together and to keep us safe. I think that if my family was at risk and I was the one who had to keep us safe, I would no longer be afraid of anything except for loosing my family.

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  57. I thin the boys would have recognized the sound of the ocean right away, instead of being paranoid and thinking that it was the rebel's machines.

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    1. I disagree. At the amount of horror the boys have experienced, anything that remotely sounds like a gun would trigger their fear and instinct to run and hide. Also, based on the map and the descriptions of the forest, the boys had no idea they were close to the ocean. They may have had an idea of where they were and where they were going, but they didn't know exactly where they were.

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    2. But what you have to think about is that these boys lived in the middle of the jungle with no chance of ever even coming near the ocean because they never had a need or chance to.

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  58. The leaving of the man in the village is a showing of our primal need to survive. After a certain point people know that it would risk their life to take elderly people, no matter how much they respect their decisions, there's a need to carry on, and the elder's realise that they've done what they need to do in life, whereas these kids need to carry on their life's that they haven't lived yet.

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  59. If something like this were to happen in the United States, how would parents determine weather their children would be better off without them or with them? Did people in Ishmael's village have to make those decisions?

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  60. Beah repeatedly states that the boys were stripped of their innocence. How did this fact influence the boys' choices in the war? In our modern suburbia, do teenagers ever feel stripped of their innocence.

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  61. I think they used children because it is easier to change their mindset toward violence.

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  62. What do you think the rebels say to the young boys to make what they ask them to do o.k.? Asking them to kill families, light up villages, etc.

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    1. I think that the rebels threaten the boys. If you told a young child that his mom was bad and needed to be killed, he would probably want to go hide behind his mother's legs. The rebels would probably be unable to convince the boys to kill their family unless the boys knew that they would be killed with their family if they didn't kill them. The primitive nature of survival would overcome other emotions.

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  63. When they walked through the villages and they were arrested Beah always carried his cassette tapes. In multiple instances, the cassette had been the reason they were let go. Do you think that the story would have changed dramatically if he had not had the tape with them?????????

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    1. Yes. They probably would have been killed much earlier.

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    2. Yes because they wouldn't have let him go.

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    3. Of course it would. The story would be much shorter, and the boys would most likely be dead.

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    4. Yes, the cassette tapes was the only thing that saved he and his friends. Without these cassette tapes, there is no telling what could have happened.

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    5. I think that the boys would have eventually be killed by villagers.

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  64. Mitch said that an older man could start a revolution better than a younger man. Research: who started the Sierra Leone civil war? What were the tactics to start a revolution? Related to Animal Farm and the Russian revolution: the oldest "pig" started that revolution. Would a younger man who started a revolution have to have elders on his side?

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    1. A younger man trying to start a revolution would be seen as just some lunatic trying to cause problems, but if you have the elder on your side, it's seen more as a valid point if a man who lived in the place for a long time, his opinion that something is wrong is seen as more probable.

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  65. I believe that the reason why they let them go because of the rap caskets symbolized a sense of freedom and bring everyone together.

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  66. I feel like that if they were abducted by the rebels, they would have had the cassettes taken away. Because they still have the cassettes it shows that they are just trying to run away from the rebels.

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  67. Children are easier to influence and knowing the culture there in that area, there is probably a... large supply of children if I can put it that way. That might no sound the best but...

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    1. I agree with what your saying. There are probably more children there. And they are still young and still learning about life so they could be easily influenced.

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  68. The cassette tapes represent young innocence. When these tapes are played people forget about the horrors of the war and remember the fun and innocence that used to be.

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    1. This shows what affect music has on lives. Music can change people's perspective and take them away for a minute.

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    2. Yes it does. Music brought back a sense of reality when the boys seemed hopeless.

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    3. Once when they played the tapes they actually asked Beah to dance. Rap music had been his passion but when they were played he just didn't feel it. He didn't have the spark that he had before.

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    4. I think the singing and dancing was actually what saved them because the villagers realize that these boys are DANCING at this time, wow they are innocent!

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  69. Talking (or typing) about Chapter 11 and Gasemu Would you have gotten mad at Gasemu? Why or why not? Would you have lost hope when you heard your family (possibly) had been killed and you were so close to seeing them? Like aforementioned, do you think that family was the only thing driving the boys forward?

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    1. I think initially I would be furious. It would seem like this was all Gasemu's fault. But then later (and it would probably take years) I think I would be able to come to realize that it really wasn't his fault. I think in terms of it causing me to lose hope it could go either way; either motivating me to keep going until I had found them or just breaking me.

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  70. If he gets used to killing, the kids are forced to grow up really fast because, they have no innocence left.

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  71. Another question I have for everyone is do you believe it was a good thing that the boys choose to help Gasemu or a bad thing? Explain. Or on a broader picture do you think its better to have seen your long lost family and die or help a man and never get to say goodbye to your family?

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  72. Do you think that wars and constant battle bring out the more brutal and primitive natures in people? How is this demonstrated in the book?

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    1. The rebels turning innocent children into murderous rebels. Also the free-for-all survival of those not living in the villages or in groups.

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    2. Wars always bring out the worst in people. In times of peace, if someone thinks about war, like us now, people try to assume that they would rise to the challenge and be a shining beacon of hope and the best of humanity, but in truth it's far more likely that you would either not be able to cope, or you would lose your innocence like Ishmael and the boys did. You would lose your trust of everyone, and everyone would lose their trust of you.

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    3. I think as they said in the beginning of the book it makes society into survival of the fittest, while in todays society we try to make sure everyone lives and is ok and thriving.

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  73. If you can't feel the pain then the injuries wouldn't "hurt". He would most likely purely been in shock.

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    1. Did it say he was moving or crying? I don't remember that part that well, but yeah, if his back was snapped, the spinal cord is really weak, so he probably wouldn't be feeling anything.

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    2. I agree because there was some point in the book that Ishmael was talking about how people wouldn't realize they were hurt until someone else in the village pointed it out, at the beginning of the book.

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  74. Even though he felt that the boys death was his fault, it was not. He could have done nothing.

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  75. In our society we always have the choice of how hard we have to work, and many of us choose the easy road. If you were in Ishmael's shoes, do you think that you would have given up at this point? Be honest.

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    1. I feel like most people wouldn't have given up yet. It's instinctual for humans, and all things on earth really, to want to survive.

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  76. Do you think that shortly after the war Ishmeal wished that he did not have the cassette tapes so that he could have been killed? Do you think he would have rather died than become a killer?

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  77. I think that although over time we are better able to cope with the difficult things and losses in our lives, but there will always be something that resides with you and changes you. I think that over time we try to block out those raw emotions from our experiences, but when we do remember it we are just numb.

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  78. I believe I would not have the strength that Beah does. First, I probably not as fit as he is. Plus, I would be far to depressed to continue. At this point he has nothing. I would think that I have no further reason to continue. What would be the point?

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  79. How does Ishmael cope with the “raw emotions” he initially felt to the emotions that he felt later in New York? How does he then connect his feelings to the emotions he felt before the war? Does this method of reflection help him not only during the war but later to deal with what he has done?

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