How did honesty affect Beah's relationships before and after the war?
I believe that Beah has lost so much of his moral stand point that honesty is not very important to him anymore, only staying alive is.
I just realized how weird that sounded. What I meant by that was this war has changed him so much that his priorities in life have changed.
I think honesty helped Ishmael heal his relationships and and heal himself once they were taken to Freetown. Before the war honesty helped Ishmael to connect with the other boys and have hope for the future.
Don't just think about Beah's honesty and how it affects him.. how did other people's honesty affect him to? During the war? Before the war? After the war?
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I thought that Beah would be a rebel solider. In my opinion it is bad to have kid soldiers. I thought that since the rebels were the bad side so kids would only be fighting for the rebels. I think that truly both sides are evil.
I was also under the assumption that Ishmael was captured by the rebels because they acted the same as the rebels by killing innocent people and enjoying killing people. Really the rebels and the army acted the same way just fighting for a different cause.
I think Matthew brings up a good point, what does separate the rebels from the army?
I think that both sides are evil. They are both taking kids and destroying them. There does not seem to be a good guy or a bad guy, they are both terrible.
Their beliefs and what they are fighting for.
Really there isn't any moral difference between the rebels and the army. One does something, then the other does something worse to try to get the other to stop. They're trying to outdo each other, so neither are really better than the other.
I disagree with Nick, I think that they both believed that they were doing the thing that was best for the country. Like when the rebel boys and army boys start fighting each other... they both think they are better. And they are both fighting for their families and their country. So I think the real question is.... why are they disagreeing?
do you think the army really knows the difference between the rebels nd there own army? because he said he didn't know if the villages he burned were rebel or government army
Well when they burned the villages, it didn't really matter, because they were running out of ammo and food and supplies.
I doubt they do and I am willing to bet that Ishmael's army/squad had attacked and killed many other people who were against the RUF without their knowledge.
I don't really think there is a difference between the two armies. The government army is fighting to gain control from the rebels and stop the use of child soldiers and at the same time they are using child soldiers and the rebel army is fighting for control.
How is it that war affects people in different ways? Some people fear it and some people are apart of it. Why?
People become apart of the war because they are brainwashed into believing that killing is "fun." Before the boys feel the power of killing the war they live in fear of being killed. Now the way that they live is to kill or be killed.
Well I think in most wars people fear it but are pulled into the fighting such as Ishmael being kidnapped by the army or today we have drafts. So I think it is not so much why people are apart of it, it is how do people overcome their different fears when they are eventually pulled into battle?
Well, really everyone fears the war, different people respond to that fear in different ways. It's all about the fight or flight response. Some people respond to fear by running from it and hiding, other's try to remove the threat that is causing the fear.
I don't think there's a "good" side in this war, unless you count the innocent people being slaughtered. Both armies are recruiting children and killing each other violently.
That is true, but one side fought to get rid of the government, the other to defend it
It shows how desperate both sides are to win.
I agree, there really is no good side in this war. Both sides of the army are doing horrific things.
This is very true. Both sides have committed murder and slaughtered many. I think in war there is no good and bad side though. Both sides are fighting for what they believe and both are killing each other. Then take into account those who sit by and watch it happen, other countries. Are they really good, or bad or innocent? Then those who are being killed, not just soldiers but common people. Could they be counted as innocent?
I think that other countries, that have not stepped in, have a right to do so. But I think that the minute children were involved in fighting the war, and were being slaughtered so violently, then the world should have stepped in. It's like when Mr. Moritz came and showed us the video of the school in Africa. The lyrics to one of the songs was "it takes a whole village to raise a child." I think this applies to the world. It is everyone's job to protect the children because we have made the world the way it is today.
It's awesome that we agree that other countries should have stepped in, but not every country was aware.
What are the rebels working toward? I know they are defying the government but what is the point of the violence and destruction, when they say they are trying to work for the civilians.
I think they are trying to prove that they are powerful and instill fear in the people they are capturing and torturing. I think their final goal is to take over the country... but then again it doesn't clearly state their goal.
What do most tyrants want...power, money, land. The rebel army is fighting for this. Control. Its just like our political problems back here in the US. There are those who are Republican and those who are Democratic. Both sides have different views on how to run the country which is why it is so important that we vote into office who we want. That person we vote in has control, not complete because of the way our system is set up but enough to give an example of the conflict over in Sierra Leon.
I don't think we know enough about the rebels' cause to be calling them tyrants. Is it possible that the government has done something unspeakable that caused them to rebel in the first place? Maybe they ARE working for the civilians, even if they've chosen the wrong way to go about doing so.
I don't think that the rebels deserved to be killed, they were forced to do what they did.
Were they? I agree that some of them were, but not all of them.
The rebels were corrupted and even if they didn't deserve to be killed, the needed to be because otherwise the rebels would kill many others.
Did you notice how the rebels laughed when they set Beah's families village on fire? To me that did not seem like force. All the soldiers may have once not wanted to kill, but now they live for it.
And as you can see when the boys are pulled away form war they have been addicted to killing and violence, so I think that in the beginning most of them weren't willing but once they were surrounded by constant death and blood and fighting their mind is numb to what they're doing and it becomes a subconscious addiction.
Yes, the rebels were forced to but they also continued doing what they were told by killing and violating people.
Alright, so maybe the army wouldn't be needing to fight the rebels if they hadn't done what they did in the first place, but what led the rebels to make the first moves?
I dont think nyone is really working towards nything, both sides are just fight to kill eachother. I dont think they really have any other purpose
I believe that the rebels deserve the hate because of all they have done. They have done many unjust actions against many people and killed innocence. The rebels have no sense of right or wrong they will do anything they wish.
But remember that the soldiers are doing the exact same things as the rebels.
I think that the rebels do not deserve all the killing, but they do deserve it more than the innocent people. If the options are let the rebels kill the innocent people or kill the rebels, I would choose kill the rebels.
I think what Ishmael didn't realize is that his country is fighting a civil war. It's not like the the rebels are just being brutal, both sides are doing the same things to try to win the war. Both sides have no sense of right or wrong, they are just doing whatever they have to do to win.
The rap music seems to be having a lot of significance through out the book. From the cassettes being burned to bringing back childhood memories in rehab. Why do you think these rap tapes have so much influence on Ishmael?
They are his only link to his childhood. He mentioned that if he tried to remember what happened as a child, he couldn't.
They represent the innocence Ishmael had before the war and when they were burned it showed that his innocence was gone. It also reminds him that something in his life is normal and everything is good again.
These cassettes are one of Ishmael's only connections to his childhood. They remind him of his family and friends and when they were burnt and lost he lost his childhood and became a hardcore druggie and soldier.
(Everyone else is going to say this, but whatever.) Before they were burned the cassettes were one of the only things Beah had left of his childhood, right? Of course he wants to cling to the music that was such a big part of his "normal" life before the war.
How does the return of reggae music on the cassettes, not just rap music, affect his rehabilitation?
I don't think the rebels deserved to die when they didn't do anything to the army, but if they did then I would understand why they killed them.
The army is fighting for the people, and the rebels have been killing many people, so even if the rebels haven't hurt the army, which they did, they would still be targeted and killed.
The rebels kill many innocent people for fun. Yes, at first it was by force, but then it became for fun. Either they let the rebels kill innocent people or the army kills the rebels.
So does the army.... they see it as tough, like when the lieutenant slits the throat of the civilian man. Both of the sides are, as they say, 'fighting for the people'. What are they really fighting for? They are fighting for the already dead........ but when Beah mentions how they don't mourn for the dead anymore....... What are they fighting for then?
I dont think anyone knows what there doing. All those children and adult soldiers were on drugs, and there fear and greif were making them not think straight, so so dont this either side is really registering the fact that they are killing and toturing people.
I think that they are registering what they are doing, but it has become reality for these boys. They get used to it.
I don't think that the army should have killed the rebel prisoners the way they did. They are angry at the rebels for killing families and destroying property, but at the same time the government army is destroying towns and cruelly killing the rebels. Doesn't that make them the same morally.
@Connor I believe the ceset tapes bring back very important memories. Once they were burned he thought he would lose all of his memories from his past.
And when they were burnt is when he lost his innocence and childhood and he became a soldier.
The rebels weren't doing those crimes cause they wanted to, they did it cause if they didn't they would be killed.
But there is no excuse for the mindless killing of others.
Really? I remember the rebels laughing after they burnt down 3 villages. Laughter makes me feel like they did want to, maybe not at first, but after a while killing became fun.
So then after doing anything for too long does it become fun? Or does the fun the feel lead back to something more innate such as the hunger for violence the boys felt in Lord of the Flies?
The rap music is a symbol for his childhood, so when they are burned, it means he's losing is innocence and childhood. But when Ester gives him rap cassettes, it symbolizes the slow return of his childhood and innocence.
I think it was kind of interesting how they bame each other for the same thing but the nurse tells Ishmael that it isn't his fault
So are the rebels responsible for their actions? Do you think the rehab center staff is correct when they continue to tell them that it is not their fault and that they are not responsible for what happened?
Ishmael did say those words were starting to take effect on him and making him feel better.
The rebels do what they are told or they die. Yes the staff was right, what he did was not his fault, he did what he wanted to avenge his family.
So does the revenge that drives Iago in Othello justify his actions?
It is not there fault. These boys were brainwashed into being monsters. They didn't wake up and decide to kill. At first they feared the guns, then they feared not using there guns.
I think some people were unfairly dragged it war. There are those who started the war and those who stood by the side of those who started it. I think Ishmael was one of those who was dragged in. Some people just simply wanted to survive and did everything in their power to live. Yes they murdered and fought in the war, but I guess depending on the situation, its not their fault.
Ishmael's family and friends had been killed by the rebels and he wanted to make them pay even though he couldn't help his family he wanted to avenge them.
But is he responsible for all of the deaths he caused, knowing exactly what he was doing and the pain he was inflicting?
Shakespeare gives them something to hold to and reminds them of times before the war when everything was simpler.
By seeing how addicted the boys get to killing and guns, how do you think violent video games are affecting our society today?
I don't think videogames are as big of a problem as people make them out to be. I think alcohol and other drugs are a bigger problem. After all, drunk drivers are one of the top causes of accidental death in America.
I think that violent video games are affecting our society negatively. More shootings are occurring and people are more violent.
Not at all. I know this is a completely different debate but it shows a vastly different situation. Killing animated soldiers and dying just to re-spawn doesn't even compare to shooting a living, breathing, person and watching them die before your eyes.
I think that violent video games are okay, as long as we make it clear that there are differences between screens and reality. I think that most people understand this.
@Connor exactly. This is not the one of the leading factor of murder/death in the world.
Follow up question: Can the way in which the drugs muddle the boys reaction to what they're doing be compared to the way in which video games might possibly muddle the reaction that kids today would have to shooting live people?
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Well, with the violence we see on TV and in video games, I think we wouldn't really be able to adjust. I think we would more not be able to do anything, because our knowledge of violence is only what we know of video games. We wouldn't be able to cope since when you die in a game, you come back, you don't feel pain, you don't have any emotional trauma related to the war. I think no one in America would be able to cope to the emotional side of the problems.
At the beginning of chapter 15, Ishmael says "My squad was my family, my gun was my provider and protector, and my rule was to kill or be killed...I felt no pity for anyone." Thoughts.
At this point he had become numb from a combination of the drugs and the addiction to killing.
He became addicted to killing. He woke up everyday looking forward to kill people. He choose to kill instead of being killed. Beah loved killing people.
So he did get used to it. The primary reasons he liked to stay with them were probably his mutual hatred of the rebels with the army members, and the drugs.
On the topic of video games, the games we play aren't really anywhere near as terrible as what these people go through. We find this as fun, but I'm sure if you had someone in this situation play one of our war games, they wouldn't find it fun, it would easily cause further traumatic issues.
Its just like at the beginning of the book where Ishmael is talking to some high school boys and they find it "cool" that he had killed people. This just shows how sheltered we are and how different the cultures are between Ishmael's world and our world.
So, what happened in those years that were skipped over in the book?
When Ishmael and the other boys were brought to the rehabilitation center the drugs had started to wear off and this is when they started to remember what happened in the war which involved killing and destroying more villages. In the book I think Ishmael didn't want to tell us all of what happened because he didn't want to remember or talk about them.
Do you think the workers at the rehabilitation center were really expecting the boys to be this violent? I think they thought the boys would be scared and weak, but it turned out the boys were just the opposite
I feel like they should have been expecting the worst from them, but you're right-- they probably did expect frightened little kids.
I think that they expected some violence, but not in the extreme that the boys would shoot some of the workers.
I think in some ways they knew they had been in the war, but they didn't know what they went through and how the war affected them to such an extent. I also think they wanted to believe that the boys were weak and scared because it would be easier to rehabilitate them.
The way the nurse talked to Ishmael made it seem like she thought they were normal kids that wanted to get out of the warzone.
I think Shakespeare represents something of higher quality. I think that speaking it out loud and reading the books gives them a sense of humanity because it is a common material that the whole world, and countries not fighting a civil war, cherish.
The workers always tell the boys"it is not your fault" when they do something wrong. What does this mean?
The workers know that the boys did not choose to become evil killing machines. It just kind of happened to them.
It's kinda of like school and peer pressure. You start to fit in with the people you are around and start doing the things they do such as drugs.
If Ishmael had not left his village do you think he would have died with them? Why or why not?
Children now a days would have an easier time adjusting because of the violence we see everyday. Whether we see this violence on TV or in video games is has become a part of this culture. Although, we as a nation are spoiled so children here could not last as long as the children in Sierra Leon have.
If both sides couldn't do drugs then I think the war would have ended sooner. Both sides would have worn out quickly, and would have felt the emotions that come with killing out of hatred. This also supports why both sides shouldn't have killed each other so violently, and it also explains why they did murdered people in the fashion they did.
When the workers say its not the boys fault he is referring to how they were forced into the situation and there was nothing they could do. This included the addiction of drugs and violence.
It seems like our video games would insult a lot of people who have lived through wars, because they really fought for their lives, and we make games out of their experience. They may seem fun to us, but for these people they probably bring back terrible memories.
Yeah I was watching football with my grandpa, and when a medal of honor videogame commercial came on he kind of smirked and shook his head and said it was silly because it's the highest medal you could earn, and you can get it in a videogame.
If you were in Ishmael's shoes what would you have done to the rebels? Would it make you feel better?
I probably would've took out my anger on the rebels.
I think there was definitely satisfaction in hurting the rebels at the rehab center for Ishmael and his friends.
I would go after every rebel I could and in my head I'd be about to take out everybody, but in reality, I'd be sitting in a tree in the middle of nowhere, crying my eyes out not sure what to actually do. Then I would go out to go kill the rebels and quickly be killed. But that's just me.
Killing wouldn't make me feel better at first. But with time and drugs and more and more killing, I would most likely have become addicted, like these boys.
By analyzing the patience and persistence of the rehab workers you see this amazing dedication to try and bring the boys back to reality. Do you think it was harder for the boys to come out of the war and go through this withdrawal of violence or harder for the staff to continually tell these violent boys that it was not their fault and be constantly in danger?
It is a very difficult situation for both parties. Anyone, including a worker, is going to face challenges through rehab.
It was harder for the boys. The staff didn't kill hundreds of people. The staff didn't see brains and spines and guts. The boys went through way more than any of these adults.
I don't think Ishmael could ever feel completely safe again after what he s gone through.
Ishmael wanted to continue to kill. How do you think that a girl would be in this situation? Do you think that a female would want to continue killing, that they would become addicted.
I think eventually they would become addicted but I think it would take them longer. I also think that coming out of it would be easier than it was for the boys.
It depends on the personality of that girl. Females can stay angry and bitter for a very long time if they want to, but then there are some girls who wouldn't be able to kill even one person.
Follow up question: Most of the females in the country were tortured by the rebels and raped. Do you think it was harder for the boys to kill mass numbers of people or for the girls to be tortured?
Well, we all know that opinions on this follow-up are going to be pretty biased, so I won't give a direct answer. I do, however, believe that the females who were dragged from their homes, raped, and tortured, would have wanted (at some point) to be in the position of the boys instead. Being a girl myself, I can't say what I think the boys thought about the females' situation.
I think the drugs definitely fueled some of their anger, especially when they had to do things like raid villages to get more drugs.
I think the drugs were the children's way of escaping from their feelings about the war. They didn't have to think about what they had done and what they will have to do.
I agree with MItch. The boys needed some sort of escape in order to do the things that they did. The mind in it's full function just isn't capable of that uch killing.
It made them "numb" to the affects of the killing and horrors of the war.
The boys became addicted to these drugs because they were the only way to escape from feeling anything.
Why does the lieutenant choose the boys that he choose. He knew that these boys would keep fighting until the very end. Do you think the lieutenant was brainwashed into killing also or was he able to see that these boys needed to get better?
I think that he was slightly brainwashed into killing but he still had the common sense and smarts to know that the young boys fighting would not end well after the war is over.
I really don't know but I think he wanted to help them get better.
Why do you think that Ishmael was chosen? Was it because the lieutenant cared for him or because he no longer wanted him?
I think that it was because the lieutenant cared for him. Clearly Ishmael was a great killer, but I think the lieutenant saw how much Ishmael was impacted by the war.
Because he cared for him. The lieutenant knew how tough and valuable of a soldier Ishmael was. He knew and he knew that Ishmael needed to have a life other than violence and drugs after the war.
I think in Ishmael's case the lieutenant cared for him because he was one of the best soldiers and in one part of the book when Ishmael was shot the lieutenant said do everything you can to save him and this shows he cares for him.
I think the lieutenant knew that UNICEF was coming, but he didn't plan for the boys to be there at the right time, right place and the right moment.
But WHY did he choose Ishmael specifically? There is an obvious bond over Shakespeare between them, so was his motivation out of caring or not caring?
The lieutenant cared for him because he knew that if he wasn't taken by UNICEF then Ishmael could have been killed.
How did the UNICEF get into rebel and government army camps to take children out? Wouldn't this cause conflict or was this the last bit of humanity the commanders had left, letting some of their children go to live better lives?
Maybe those boys were chosen because they were some of the younger ones. Maybe they seemed so scarred that the UNICEF people wanted to get them out of the war
The boys were used in the fight because without there help then everything would be lost, so do you think it was the right choice training the children to fight why or why not?
Absolutely not. Personally I would rather die or live in horror that kill and kill and kill. A child should never be made into a solider.
I think that's a great question. Personally, I think it came down to fight or flight, and so in this case the army chose fight and then began recruiting the only males they could find. It's kind of like and unjustified desperate needs call for desperate measures.
I kind of agree with Kiley, but in certain desperate situations it is necessary to use everything you can, and these boys have something to fight for. If you had a truly good reason, your family, to fight for, wouldn't you fight for what you believe, what you believe is right, whether it's truly right or not?
I think that in the end it was the right choice. Without their helped they would have been slaughtered by the rebels, along with the rest of the town. By them entering the war they are given the outlet to be taken to safety. And clearly for Ishmael it worked out.
I think it's human nature to become addicted to power and the gun symbolizes great power.
When he first got his gun he was terrified of the feel of it, but he soon felt like it was the only thing that protected him. What helped him to get rid of that feeling?
He got rid of that feeling because he kept reminding himself that these people killed his family. He kept saying to himself that he was doing a good thing, and that he either had to be killed or had to kill.
When he shot the first person, he realized what he was capable of doing with it, and he felt the need to avenge his family.
I think he didn't feel safe without his gun until music was brought back into his life by Esther. Before his cassettes were burned, music was his attachment to the world outside the war, but once they were burned he was pulled into the obsession of the war. It wasn't until music was brought back to him that he finally started to be able to cope again.
He felt like he had to avenge his family. It was also apart of that instinct to survive. You shoot or someone shoots you. Its the way of the war.
How do you think the war between the boys at the UNICEF grounds parallel the true war?
The boys were hostile to everyone until they knew what side they were on. Ishmael almost killed a group of boys with his grenade until he knew that they were on his side. When the found out about the rebel boys, nothing would stop them from killing. Their job was to kill all rebels and these other boys were rebels no matter what situation or environment they were in.
They parallel the war because when the boys are fighting each other at UNICEF it's just like the war grounds because they're both destroying each other, it's just in a different setting. They still have the same tensions and beliefs, it's just a different setting.
Do you think the boys knew what would happen and the severity of what would come as an effect of the drugs? DO you think they even knew they were bad?
They didn't have the previous knowledge about the drugs to be smart enough to stay away from them. I bet that the boys just thought that the drugs are like energy pills.
Well the drugs WERE energy pills, but I agree with Joseph in that they didn't know the consequences of becoming addicted.
They just viewed the drugs as something that made them feel a false level of invincibility.
I think the drugs actually helped the boys for the time being.
The boys that were recruited for the war were still trying to find the difference between right and wrong. It is easier to manipulate someone who doesn't think they are doing anything bad.
I agree, and I also think that it's easier to manipulate someone who is still struggling with trying to decide right from wrong.
I think that it was the true war because they defended their way of life, the rebels fought to get rid of the government and to kill for fun.
What do you think music represents for Ishmael?
His innocence. It was from his past when he was still a child and had not seen the war and had to survive on his own. I was his last link to innocence.
Music represents the peace and happiness of life before the war came to him. It's friendship, and childhood, and everything good about the world.
It represents the innocence that Ishmael had before the war and it also brings back the memories of his childhood which were happy for him and make him remember the life he used to have.
I think that it represents his brother, and their bond over music. It represents his childhood, his innocence, and the fun that he has had.
By seeing the adults do all these things the children believe that what they are doing is the right thing. These are their role models so they follow what they do. They are taught to respect their elders, and if their elders are murdering each other, then the children will follow in their foot steps.
He thought of the rebels s the ones who killed his family, so even though the rebel boys didnt actually kill his family, he still hates them and wants to kill them, so I think the boys fight was very similar to the war
In his mind the rebels really weren't separate people, they were a group, and "the rebels" killed his family. A specific rebel, or some rebels, didn't kill his family, all of the rebels killed his family. That is why he hates those boys so much.
Recruiting the small boys gives the armies more power of intimidation. If they were grown adult soldiers, you only think of them as soldiers. When you see kids slaughtering and burning entire villages, it makes the war much more terrifying.
Beah writes: "Little did I know that surviving the war that I was in, or and other kind of war, as not a matter of feeling trained or brave. These were just things that made me feel I was immune from death." What significance does this quote have?
Beah was extremely lucky not to die over the years of him fighting and through all of his injuries. He starts seeing his luck as his skill and while he does have a lot of skills in killing and violence, the luck is what made him think he is invincible. The drugs also contributed to his"invulnerability."
It gives us a new perspective on Ishmael which is the war Ishmael where nothing matters and all he thinks about is the war. By being in the war it affects the story of A Long Way Gone because it gives us a whole new perspective on a war.
I think Ishmael had a harder time being away from his brother. Without a doubt he missed his parents but I think since he started the war with his brother and thought he would finish this war with him, when this became idea fantasy instead of reality it was hard for Ishmael.
Especially because he was so close to see him again.
Ishmael grew up with his brother, and his brother cared for him. Ishmael's father was not very helpful to Ishmael when he was growing up. I think that he missed his brother more.
I think this is also a super-sized feeling in Beah because Gasemu told him that Junior had gone looking for him on his own for weeks and he couldn't find him, and then when he didn't see him it brought guilt and more anger.
So are the drugs good for the boys? Drugs help the boys kill without feeling. They help the boys get through this horrible time. But then again, they made the boys want to kill and kill and kill.
No, the drugs are not "good" for the boys. They make life easier for them because it takes away the emotions and sadness but the easy way is not always the right way.
The drugs made him numb during the killing and they would wear off and he would take more of them and he had to deal with the affects of the war after they couldn't take them anymore.
No, the drugs are horrible for them, but they were given them so they could fight more easily and wouldn't be affected by the war as much.
I think that no matter how good you make the drugs seem, they will never be good. Without the drugs, the boys and men would be able to see exactly what they're doing and the immorality of the war. They may still fight but I think they would at least know that what they're doing is bad and it needs to stop.
The only good thing about these drugs is that it kept them motivated and energized throughout the war which helped them survive
But do you think it would have been much harder for the boys if they had to kill and had to feel the emotions of killing? I think that I would have rather been on drugs and felt nothing than felt so much it overwhelmed me.
I think the drugs are bad because it promotes the addiction that the boys are already having to war? But then again, the drugs help them get through a situation that they are basically forced into... so it could go both ways. Good question Kiley!
I think that the drugs might of helped the boy in that time by numbing them up but the drugs also came with the side effects of addiction and extreme violent tendencies. Both of these were demonstrated and the rehabilitation center.
How does the city contribute to the boys rehab?
It presents freedom for them. Its a reward for them to get to see the city.
Well in a way i think the drugs helped them stay alive, even though the drugs were bad for them, Ishmael's many injuries were made less of a big deal because of all the drugs he was taking
The city brings a sense of normality back into the boys life. With the city the boys can remember what they had so long ago before the war.
But they had never been to the city, so do you think that the city had something to do with just being around people who were unexposed to the war?
But not all the boys wanted to go back to normality. Like Ishmael, some got addicted to the war.
I think that the city contributes to the boys rehab because the boys are more willing to accept their rehab as that they will get chances to be in the city an have a nicer life.
The drugs were so effective that the boys didn't even need to sleep and that they saw the war as a game. It was fun for the boys.
The city brings back the boys innocence as well. That curiousity and wonder comes back when they go out to discover what the city has to offer.
The drugs just (temporarily) destroyed his brain, which helped the boys cope with all the killing. Without the drugs, what would happen in the war?
I believe the war would have ended sooner because people would have realized what they are doing wrong earlier.