Does Beah even consider taking his family? Did they even want to go? Why did he not take them?
He probably thinks about taking his family, but he decides that it would be to difficult because his family doesn't have any of the necessary items to travel.
Don't you think his family would just slow him down?
His family would slow him down, but how much does he value their safety? Is it worth taking them? Does this relate to the argument over the old man on the porch?
I think his family is so big that it would have been more dangerous for them to go. Also, they may not have the necessary funds to travel.
Do you think the sense of urgency, like when Ishmael was getting ready to leave to New York, clouds our judgement and decisions or precision?
Yes, I think that when we are urgent we don't always think over the decision that we are making. This can be a bad thing because when we don't think hard, we often make mistakes.
Of course. Urgency, impatience, panic, etc. are some of the biggest judgment clouders (that's definitely a word) there are. If you are anxious to get somewhere or find something, you aren't going to think about much else.
I think that it did cloud his judgement, perhaps exemplified in the fact that he didn't take his family with him. But I also think it made him focus on his goal and let nothing stop him. It gave him a drive to get out as quickly as possible and not stop and think. And when it comes down to it- even waiting one more day could have been life or death so in a sense it clouded his judgement, but focused him on solely surviving.
Yes. Especially in his position. He was set on leaving as soon as possible and that is all he wanted. He knows that leaving is the best thing for him and it is a way safer situation.
At the beginning of chapter 18, Ester says to think of her as his sister. Do you think that he was still hiding his emotion and truly was happy that she said that?
I think that he was really happy to hear that. it gave him something to live for and something to be happy for again. Although in the book it says he didn't show his affection for her, even though he really liked her.
I think that he was very happy at that moment. Him and Ester were getting closer and closer, and I think her telling him that she was like his sister made him happy.
First of all, Esther is spelled with an 'h'. Sorry. Second of all, he mentions a bit afterword that he loved her but never told her. Throughout his trip to NY as well, he refers back to his uncle's family as his own, so I think that he, after being 'adopted', even without governmental documentation (like the government could do that...) really accepts his new family that helps with his rehabilitation, and he could get used to the idea of a new family.
At this point he has no family and is going through the depression of losing his family and Esther helps him go through this phase. And as his "sister" he could open up to her. Opening up to her gave him a sense of relief, so yes he was happy because he always was expecting to see her after school each day.
I think when Esther said that Ishmael felt happy and felt like he belonged with a family because he hand't been with his family for a few years. I think he thought it was nice of her to care for him like that because for 2 years he was on his own and no one really cared for him.
I think Ishmael thought it would be safer to go alone to escape Freetown because being in a big group creates problems when they want to stick together. Also because maybe his family wanted to stay in a place they knew even thought it was in turmoil.
I think you are right. He has experienced before that it is much safer to travel alone than in a big group of people. I think that it must have been pretty hard for him to leave his family behind, but he had already been away from them before so it wouldn't have been so hard.
I believe his past experiences in the war have proven to him that being in big groups is not always the best decision. If he had taken his family with him they would have been away from everything they ever knew because unlike Ishmael, they had never been in war.
Also, Ishmael eventually wanted to go to New York and live with Laura. If he had taken his entire family Laura would't have been able to house them all.
Why does Beah's uncle refuse to accept his trip to New York?
It just seems too good to be true for him.
I feel like they had grown really close even for the short time they had known each other. For Ishmael, his uncle is like a link to his life before the war and it was the last step in rehabilitation.
I feel like they are both living in a sort of surreal moment where they have been briefly united for the first time. And then to be told that because of what Beah went through he is now traveling all the way to New York is so surreal and all part of the dream almost that they are both living.
I think it would be safer for one person to go by themselves rather than a huge group of people
I think some part of him thought if Ishmael left then he would never return and he also didn't want to go because he was afraid of the world which is truly ironic.
What does the story of the monkey and his question with no right answer symbolize in Beah's story? Why does he end the book with this difficult question?
I think Beah just wanted to leave the reader in thought about would you rather kill one thing to save many lives or not and have it happen to many people over and over again.
I think that Ishmael makes the decision that he would kill the monkey, so another person didn't have to make the decision like he did. This decision is related to another decision he would have made during the war, which is he would risk his own family, if it meant that families in the future wouldn't have to risk their own.
The purpose of this question is the answer that he gives it shows how he grew in this time yet stayed the same. He sort of kept his childhood throughout all this time. After all this time he believes in killing for a just cause.
I think that his question, and especially his answer, really completes his rehabilitation from the war because he mentions how he would 'shoot the monkey so he would no longer have the chance to put anyone in this predicament'. This symbolizes the return of innocence and caring for other people's lives, as well as the symbolical idea of family's death and what that means to him now, versus when he was seven.
The story represents the war exactly because the soldiers have two choices kill or be killed and neither are good choices just like the choices in the story with the monkey. The story also foreshadowed what would happen to some people with the war, but no one realized it because it was a life-learning story.
What symbolism do you think is behind the reoccurring theme of the moon? Its starts with a saying from an old man. "We must strive to be like the moon, " on page sixteen and Ishmael will at points bring up the moon. How did this affect Ishmael throughout the book?
This reoccering theme of the moon kind of reminds him of who he is. It reminds him of those he loves teaching to try and be like the moon.
It gives him hope and reminds him there is still good in this world even though his country is in turmoil.
I think that the moon is something that will always be there. As Ishmael looses everything, there is still a beautiful moon in the sky.
I personally believe that it is his constant. Something that was always there throughout the book. I don't think this goes along with what the old man said but it still could be part of it. Throughout the book he was jumping from place to place and meeting a bunch of different people. The moon was just something that was always there and it was something to remind him about who he was.
I think that the constant mention of the moon is not only something consistently beautiful and calm in Ishmael's life, it took him back to childhood when things were good and his family was together. He talks about how he would see different shapes in the moon, and years later how he can still see them.
I believe the moon represents his life before the war. Through out his entire experience, the moon was the one thing that never changed. Even when his life went to shambles the moon kept rising and setting. Also the moon represented life because night was the best time to travel in safety.
Ishmaels second trip to New York reminds me of the movie Argo. In both instances they were trying to escape from countries in turmoil. Like someone mentioned on the inside circle, bringing more people would make it more dangerous, and that is why Beah had to go alone.
Great text-to-text connection. I can absolutely see that.
That's so true! That's a really good connection Grant, and that really put it into perspective why he can't brig his family. Mind blown!
Where did the secret "market" (that sold food to civilians for high prices) get all of it's food? How was the city's food supply kept up during the coup?
If there is a need for it someone will supply it no matter the danger as long as they earn money doing it. Supply and demand.
Right now in history we are learning about bootleggers when America outlawed alcohol in the 1920's. I'm guessing that something similar was happening here. When people want something and are willing to pay for it, someone will find a way. Also, many people had farms around the area so they would have been a good source of food.
As you know in the book Othello Iago is controlled by revenge because he didn't get the job which in reality is a minor thing, and Ishmael in A Long Way Gone is controlled by revenge because the rebels destroyed everything important to him. So how are Iago and Ishmael similar and different?
Both of them take these things beyond the necessary. Iago didn't get a job, and a handful of people died because of his revenge. Ishmael looses his entire family and many friends, and he kills many many people. Both of these people get hung up in revenge, and it seems to brainwash them.
The first thing that comes to mind is a difference. Ishmael was still a kid and had this sense of innocence with him so he didn't have such a strong sense of revenge even though, personally, he had a greater reason. He also eventually got help. While Iago only had revenge and that is what drove him to do terrible things. It never says he got help though, he just lived the rest of his life not saying anything. He never healed.
They are both alike in multiple ways. For one, they are both very much blinded by emotions such as revenge and betrayal. Also, they are surrounded by addiction. For Iago, it is addiction to power and for Ishmael it is the addiction to violence and drugs.
Why do you think that Ishmael refused to believe that it was his uncle the very first time they met? He seemed as if he didn't want to accept the fact that he had family in a safe place. Is this just because he has trust issues?
It IS hard to trust a man you've never met who runs up and hugs you, claiming they are in fact related to you.
My initial thoughts when I first read that this man came to the rehabilitation center was also questions on whether or not this was his real uncle. Trust issues are almost inevitable if you've fought through and participated in a war where everyone on a certain side is your enemy.
Yes I agree, my trust would be very hard to earn if I had gone through what Ishmael has gone through. That said, I think that I would want to be happy, and I would want to hug this man who claims to be my uncle, no matter who he is. I would want him to love me and I would love him.
For this, I am going to have to answer a question with a question. Would't you have trust issues? It seems that everyone he gets close to dies because of the war, he even says it multiple times! He would say things like would he be the only one to survive the war, and so on.
The symbolism and meaning behind the word son brings a lot of emotion to Ishmael when his Uncle and Aunt start referring to Ishmael as son. How does this contribute to the ongoing sense of isolation off Ishmael even when he is with his new family?
I think Ishmael knows that he will never be a son again. He doesn't want to be very close to his family because he doesn't want to loose something close to him again.
I think being referred to as son really pulled Ishmael from that last mindset he had in the war. It was the final detail in his rehabilitation. His immediate family was dead, he was in a completely different city and he had been taken from his position in the army.
I think everytime he hears "son" he thinks about his family and who used to call him that. Yet I also believe it helps him with the rehabilitation process and makes him grow closer to his uncle.
When his new family calls him ''son'' Ishmael feels like his is with his family and he belongs again and can finally stop running away from the war.
I don't think Ishmael would have recovered as well as he did from the war without Esther. She slowly earned his friendship, and re-taught him to trust people and show his happiness.
I also think Ester kind of brought back Ishmael's innocence and sence of childhood and love
I absolutely agree. When he first met Esther, I think he secretly automatically like her. She was another type of adult figure that he hadn't seen in a long time. It reminded him of what is was like to be loved.
Right, and she was the one adult person who was persistent with trying to do these things. He must have admired that somewhat.
Ester showed a special interest in Ishmael. Do you think that she had this connection with other recovering boy soldiers? Did Ester see something in Ishmael? What?
I think that Esther saw hope and something that was supposed to be impossible in Ishmael and the other boys. It wouldn't surprise me if she had connections with other boys, but I feel like the one she had with Ishmael was something very special. Why do you think that even though he really like seeing her he only went once after the rehabilitation center?
Well, it was her job to get close with the kids and help with the rehabilitation process.
Where did Ishmael get all of his money? He seemed to have a lot of money hidden in his sock.
It said that until Laura Simms lost connection with Ishmael that she would regularly send him money.
he got some of his money from selling school supplies towards the beginning of the book.
How do Ishmael's experiences in New York show how different the two worlds are? How do you think it was like going from New York back to Sierra Leone?
I think that because he was accustomed to the culture, he was okay going back to Sierra Leone because he needed more time to become familiar with the culture of New York.
He was so used to his way of life in Sierra Leone that he actually wanted to go back to his family. During his visit in New York, he mentioned that he made mental notes on what to tell his uncle and cousins about when he got back.
He might be scared of New York because it is so different and he would want to go back home, but he might also really love it because it is so much safer that Sierra Leone and not want to leave.
I think he was culture-shocked when he arrived at New York. Ishmael mentioned how he kept looking for the utility poles in the city whereas chicken is considered a very special and honorable food in Sierra Leon. Not to mention the weather. Laura finally gave him a winter coat. It wasn't just about the culture though. For one of the first times, Ishmael spoke about his experiences to someone other than Esther of his fellow soldiers.
What was Ishmael feeling when he first heard gunshots in the city?
Adding on to this, did he ever expect the fighting to end up there? What was he expecting to happen to the war he left behind?
Ishmael was feeling numb because he was trying to escape the war and he did for almost a year, but when he heard that gunshot he just knew he could never get away from the war even if he kept running.
He reacted with the sort of "Oh Lord, not again feeling". They brought him to the capital to get completely away from the war but still he was not safe. Which causes him to flee because he realizes you cant escape the war. And even in Guinea he still saw effects of the war.
I think that when he first heard the gunshots he was hit with a wave of different emotions. It brought back memories from the war, whether they were good or bad. I feel like he possibly could have wanted to go back and fight but then another wave hit him and he was reminded of how he felt at that moment. He had been in a safe place and he didn't want to go back.
Dread, absolute dread. He was just getting back to a normal life. He had a family, friends and a good life but was that all going to get destroyed? Gunshots destroyed his life in the first place and he was terrified they'd to it again.
How does adjusting from a healthier diet to American junk food show the difference in cultures extend to completely different lifestyles? Going off of what Lindsey said, what would you do to adjust to this bland diet?
If I was used to the American food, and I moved to Africa and had to adapt to there food, it would take me a long time. I probably wouldn't like the food.
I think what we have to remember is that in Africa they do have spices and things, and in some parts (although not necessarily in Sierra Leone) they have extremely spicy food. So I think it's just a different pallet that you would have to get used to. It would be like going from Denver to India.
Adjusting from these two different food types would be quite hard. It shows how America's lifestyle is pretty luxurious compared to other countries. I don't know that there is a certain way to adjust to a different diet, I think you just have to eat it, and after a while your body gets used to it.
I think you would just have to take it slowly. Just slowly get used to eating the food, because it will take a while to get used to it.
I feel like he might get a sick if he started out eating American food right away because he is not used to the ingredients.
Beah mentions the coincidence that his future mother is a storyteller and her house is full of things from all over he world. How do you think hat led into his trust in her and his love for her as a mother? Why do you think she took a particular interest in him as one of the children at the conference?
I'm not sure about the latter part of this so, overachieving honors student that I am, I will just answer the former. I think he was more willing to trust a woman who has so much knowledge about things many people are ignorant to. Not to mention all of the stories she knows... think of Othello, and how Desdemona fell in love with him because of his stories of the war. I personally would find it easier to trust and love someone who had stories like that to tell, especially when they knew so much about those stories.
I think her interest is related to him being from Africa and her as a story teller mainly studying Africa and knowing African stories. I think she was like something from home from Beah, and Laura developed a connection with him because they simply had a lot in common.
Ishmael has grown up around stories and his friends told stories. They are a connection to his childhood and the time before he joined the army. Especially since she knew stories from his village and culture. When Laura offered him the winter coat, I think that just opened up that relationship, even if it was just a small act.
Wow.. great connection!!!!!!!!!! I didn't even think of that!!
previous @ Abigail.
@Abigail: sorry I just read your comment and that was awesome! I am mind blown!
It made them connect in a way that Ishmael never connected to anyone before. As is obvious, America is very different to what Ishmael was used to and Laura's understanding of his culture helped Ishmael adjust to his new life.
Ishmael's uncle is extremely welcoming of Ishmael. I think the question is not so much is he his real uncle (because his uncle had childhood stories) but how did becoming part of a family again affect Ishmael?
I think that it was hard for Ishmael to trust anyone at the beginning, but having a family helped him recover even though Ishmael didn't really seem to want anyone to love him.
When Ishmael goes to live with his uncle and his family they welcome him and already call him son, but here some families are close and some are not, so how are families closer in Sierra Leone even though the country is corrupt?
Their culture is just more caring for others than the average American family. Because they have less to share, they are fine with sharing it. They don't have the kind of luxuries that we're selfish about.
Family is a huge part of their life, and if anything, i think the war brings them even closer together.
Families are closer because that is literally all they have. If they lose their families, they have nothing left.
When Mrs. Moritz husband came in and talked to the class about Africa he mentioned how many children do not survive past infancy. That leads me to believe that they may appreciate life and family more then Americans do.
How did you react to the fact Ishmael put in about Mambu being sent back to the front line? I mean after all this rehabilitation and redemption, being sent back to the start, straight into the horror of this war, just by being rejected by his family. It broke my heart.
I reread that line at least 10 times. I couldn't believe that some family would be so terrible to their son. This was so sad, and the way Ishmael said it was so matter-of-fact.
Did it say if Mambu was forced to go back? He may have chosen to return to the war, preferring that to finding a family that actually wanted him. Of course, I could be completely wrong. In either case, Ishmael probably pitied him.
Completely cannot understand the people at the rehabilitation center being willing to send him back. Heartless.
I agree, it was horrible that some of the boys were trying to be rehabilitated and after all that hard work they were sent back into the war and all they worked for would be lost and forgotten.
He was discharged by the army, so I am surprised he was allowed to go back. Everyone was probably too drugged up to notice him come back, though.
While I think it is awful that his family didn't want him, look at it from their perspective: he was a murder who killed a lot of people and it took six months to rehabilitate him. He was essentially a traitor to the country and his people. Would you welcome back a family member who is a murderer?
Although I think that there were definitely other options than him going back to the front lines.
I think Ishmael wanted to emphasize the fact that he was extremely lucky to be as fortunate as he was. That must have been one of the reason why he wrote the book, to show everyone around the world what was going on and how thankful they should be for the lifestyle they have.
I take it that you don't believe in second chances? :) I think that if you have that attitude, every one of each of the rebels and soldiers extended family, refused to accept or forgive any of these boys, then the country would constantly be in war.
This is when I began crying and asking why? Why go through all of that work and waste it all. It also made me wonder if this happened to any other children during the war. I began to question why a family would do such a thing to each other.
What do you think happened to Bah?
Beah obviously makes it to America eventually, and he mentions that he stays at Laura's house. But how do you think his journey ended? How did he get the money to go to America, since by the time he was out of Sierra Leone he was broke? How long do you think it took him?
He probably ended up using the rest of his money to get on the plane and too America, so he probably arrived broke and walked to Laura's house from there. She was probably surprised about seeing him but immediately took him in.
I think it is very interesting that Ishmael's uncle is a carpenter who is already supporting four kids is as welcoming as he is. He spends some time during the weekends with Ishmael when he first learned about him, and devotes as much time as he can to getting to know Ishmael and making him comfortable.
But like Mrs. Moritz was saying, after hearing that your brother's son has been in a war, completely exposed to the worst part of human civilization, and seeing death and being so close to death, most people would immediately take action in salvaging this lost boy.
Hello. Public Service Announcement. Esther is spelled with an H. Almost all of the Esthers you will meet in your life will spell their name with an H because the name is a Biblical reference. When you meet them, they will be happy that you know that their name is pronounced 'Ester' but spelled 'Esther'. Thank you.
I think that when Ishmael moved back to New York, he thought of Laura as a mother. Even though Ishmael was grown he still needed the parental figures. Does Ishmael want to recreate his family? I think that he doesn't really want to attach to anyone. He was seeking the family experience without telling anyone what he went through.
I don't know if Ishmael wants to recreate his family because it would be too hard for him and would bring back too many memories, but he did want a sense of belonging and to be safe with someone he could trust.
I don't think Ishmael wanted to recreate a family as much as he just wanted to find someone new to make memories with.
How did Ishmael trip to New York City change from bad and weird to good and and a place he could call home?
I think he was just surprised at first considering he traveled half way around the world to talk about his experiences as a child soldier in a civil war. I guess it startled him at first but through meeting the other people and diving into the culture, it was just another experience to add to his many list of them.
I think the change came when Beah realized that no matter how much Sierra Leone was home to him, it still wasn't safe and held, maybe good memories, but predominately bad memories from his time as a soldier.
Do you think that Ishmael would give anything to see his family again? Even reliving the war and dying with them? Or has Ishmael recovered from the loss.
Good question! But I think that just as killing the monkey would cause him not to put other people into this predicament, if Ishmael he went back he might have died- and then never would have written this book. And then just think of how many people have read this book and learned about the hardships that he went through and how much help the people of Sierra Leone need. Think of if you had never read this book and not learned about his story?
I think that he understands (especially through writing the book) that in order for people to know the truth he needed to have lived. But that doesn't mean he doesn't miss his family.
I think that there was a part of him that would want to see his family again, but then he has spent a lot of time accepting that he would never see them again. Especially when he went to the town, where his family was staying, and it was all burned down. When he was hiding behind the bush and he heard the rebels say, " No one got out of this town." I think that is when he began to actually believe and accept that his family would never be with him again. I think that he doesn't want to go back to that.
I think that Beah's search for a parental figure was more subconscious than conscious. Beah didn't want to open up to anyone, but teenagers such as Beah still need a parental figure in order to grow up. So Beah's search was not so much of a conscious one, but a search for a search for a necessity in his childhood development.
How does the story about the boy who left his heart at home (p182) relate to how Ishmael is feeling at this time?
There were a lot of homes where Ishmael left pieces of his heart. His home before the war, the rehabilitation center, and even the army itself.
He just wanted to go back to before the war, where he could live with his family. His heart was still in his home town.
I think that it shows that he feels like he doesn't have the heart to face what he has done. I think that even to this day he has accepted what he has done with his brain, but not his heart. I see this even through the way he writes, he says everything as a fact and gives no emotion.
There is irony in that at his first day at the rehab center Beah gets in a fight with the rebel boys, but the rebels and the army end up working together. Who, like we mentioned before, were the solders actually fighting against? What are other ironies about the soldiers?
I think the soldiers were fighting for justice because the rebels killed their families and their homes, but the soldiers did the same thing to the rebels. So basically they were just killing because they were told to.
How would you react if it was your first time in the U.S. like Ishmael when he went to New York City?
My reaction would be different if I was in a country like his and never even saw a picture of America than if I was living in, say, England.
It would depend on my knowledge of the area. For Ishmael it was hard because he knew very little about America and didn't have preparation time when planning his trip there. It would be easier for someone who knows about the country to go there.
One thing I noticed is that if something is repeated to Ishmael over and over again, he begins to believe it. The lieutenant kept saying, "These are the rebels that killed your family and burned your village", and Ishmael truly believed it during the war. Later, at the rehabilitation center, he hears many times, "It is not your fault", and the repetitiveness of it helps him recover.
Power of Words!!! These lines, whether he liked them or not, helped him deal with his circumstance at this time.
True but it didn't really make an impact until Esther said it with so much sincerity. That is why he had such a strong connection with her.
Yes.. how does this relate to our lives here? How is repetition important? How can it affect our choices/lives and our relationships? ;)
During the conference in New York the children from around the world discussed how they wanted to end suffering. It's nice that the children were able to make their voices heard, but how likely is it for the plans of such young people to be realistic? Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit, especially since they've been forced to mature so fast, but hey, I can wonder.
I think that Ishmael at age 14 is way more mature than me at age 14. I would not trust my ideas and they would not be realistic. Most of these kids have gone through more than you or I will in a life time. I think that maturity comes from experience, and you will never experience what he did.
You're totally right! It's a nice thought to give these kids a way to get away and be able to speak out about the different wars, but when this conference is over what will happen to the kids? Do they just forget about them and move on with their daily lives?
@Kiley: So you think that they would be able to be rational and come up with a way to solve these problems that would work, as opposed to just "I wish... I wish..."? (I'm not disagreeing, I promise.)
I think that they could share their experience which would certainly help the adults be able to make a difference that could actually happen. I think that the kids ideas would be good, but it is not always possible to make everything happen that each of the children suggest. But I do think the children would provide an amazing insight at this conference, and that they could help create solutions to these problems.
Also why does his uncle and the rest of his family just sit at home and not do anything? And why is this important?
I think they are too in shock to do anything. I think it is almost better that someone with military experience goes than someone who has never seen combat. While it was cowardly that only Ishmael and his friend went and not the rest of the family, would you rather have someone who would probably survive go or someone who would probably panic and die go?
The UN Children's Council that Ishmael attends in New York discusses problems of children all around the world. What do you think became of the plans they made and the hope that was born at the conference?
Sorry I just saw Abigail's. Oops.
Ishmael had a fondness for Shakespeare. Do you think he had a stronger connection through it with his father or his lieutenant, ignoring the time span?
I think when the war wasn't going on Ishmael had a stronger connection with his father, but when Ishmael was in the war and experiencing it he had a stronger connection with the lieutenant.
The Shakespeare connection was definitely stronger with the lieutenant because that really the only tie between them; that's all they ever talked about.
I think his connection with his father was stronger because he talks about how much he misses his family way more than when he talks about how he misses his squad. And he talks so much about how his dad would rub his head and smile and even though his parents were divorced hi still loved his family.
The time the former boy soldiers spent in rehabilitation made me think of Lord of the Flies. Did anybody else have this thought? How might the recovery of the soldiers in A Long Way Gone relate to that of the schoolboys after the events of Lord of the Flies?
I didn't make that connection at the time but you make a good point. I feel like they must have gone through some sort of rehabilitation but probably not as serious as Ishmael's. Ishmael experienced killing first hand but the boys came up with a very twisted game. But they accept they are going home. Ishmael had to fight to free himself from the life of war and he still has the memories.
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How would you react if you learned that our Armed Forces would torture and beat prisoners of war until they died the way that the rebels and Sierra Leone Army did? Would you be shocked that we talk about how bad it is when our own country is doing it too?
Of course. There would be a complete uproar if something like this made its way into the news.
It honestly made me so mad when all the city boys showed up to the interview. UGHH! They have so much compared to Ishmael, they haven't seen the war and yet they laugh at him. These city boys just made me so upset. But then I think about myself, would I be the same as those awful city boys?
Kiley's question got me thinking: Can we relate the way we would actually act to the way we really would act towards someone who couldn't work an elevator to the way that the boys acted in Lord of the Flies to the way we think we would act if we were all stranded on an island?
I think the boys wouldn't have laughed if they had known what he had gone through because they probably think everyone must know what they know, but in reality they don't.
People who have met Ishmael say that he is really cool and doesn't really act traumatized. How hard do you think it was to write this book for him, especially because he is totally opening up in this book and telling the world that he murdered people and lived while many other people died. How much courage did it take?
I think that Ishmael has overcome everything with his head. He has accepted what has happened to him mentally, but I don't think that he has been able to accept everything with his heart. I feel like the book was very matter-of-fact. But accepting what he has done took more courage than I have in a lifetime.
I think he used the book as a sort of therapy for himself. To get over the trauma he lived through he needed to get it all off his chest.
Do you think that writing the book helped him overcome the trauma of his life?
I don't think he could ever truly overcome the trauma. There will still be memories and nightmares. I do think though that instead of keeping it all in to himself, he was able to tell everyone else and there always is some comfort in that.
I think it helped him with closure. Writing the book made him go back and relive it all, which must have been extremely hard for him. Although, it also made him go back and relive the part where he recovered.
I think it definitely helped him put in permanent words for the whole world to see that he was a survivor of war. I think it just confirmed that he is in a better state now and he doesn't have to be scared anymore.
I do believe letting it all out helps with the rehabilitation but I think in order to have written the book in the first place he must have been at peace with himself and the circumstance. I think the book was not written for this purpose though.
I think so because he was able put it all out on the table. By no means will he ever "get over" what he has been through (and no one should expect him to), but I feel like writing this book helped him overcome the trauma in a huge way
What made Ishmael Beah write a book about his experiences/
To make the cause known.
Talking about the picture on the front cover... like Mrs. Moritz says, it's very powerful, but I do not like it. It is not realistic to me.This boy has flip-flops, but when Beah describes coming into the army, he says he gets new tennis shoes and clothes, especially that are green. And he says he has blood and bruises all over him. I think that this picture could relate to the other boys, but I with it related to Beah's experience directly, but not too bloodily.