[2015] Samantha DeGuzman: A Long Way Gone

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[2015] Samantha DeGuzman: A Long Way Gone

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

"I started before everyone else, so that I could walk fast and be in front. As I was going down the hill, I heard gunshots. And dogs barking. And people screaming and crying." (Beah 93)

Ishmael was walking with his friends to his village. His whole family lives in that village. Ishmael was so excited that he ran in front of the group he was walking with, and he was devastated to see that every house in his village was on fire and the rebels were there, shooting the civilians. Ishmael and his friends ran down as soon as they saw the village burning. The rebels were watching the village burn after they stole all of the goods from the houses.






Ishmael Beah is just a child when he gets affected by a devastating civil war that passes through his village. He loses his family and must struggle to survive. With war at every corner Ishmael must be careful or else he could lose his life. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah is a book that will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat.


"One thing about being lonesome is that you think too much, esoecially when there isn't much else you can do." (Beah 52)

The theme of A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah is relationships. Throughout Beah's memoir he explains how he expirences many different relationships. Ishmael is getting being loved and cared for with his parents and his bestfriends in Mattru Jong. After he loses his family and friends he needs to make friends.

Ishmael is all alone in the forest because he got split up from his friends and his brother. He did not know what to do because he had no one to talk to or walk with. All he did was think, the forest was quiet and all his thoughts came to him. If he was tried to stop thinking, he still thought. He thought about his family and his friends and if he would survive the war.

"He gave me the gun. I held it in my trembling hand. He then added the magazine, and I shook even more." (Beah 109)

When Ishmael was first handed a gun he was scared. This shows that he only fought to survive. Once he was got angry he was able to shoot and kill many people. He looked them in the eye and shot them. The first time he got the gun he couldn't even look the soldier in the eye. Once Ishmael lost his humanity he shot the rebels with no problem. He needed to think about how the rebels took his family and his friends.

"Being in a group of six was not to our advantage." (Beah 37)

Usually when you go out in the wilderness it is 'more the merrier,' but in Ishmael's case it is different. They are trying not to get noticed by the rebels, but with six boys it is hard not to get noticed. In this part of the book the rebels are in different villages and there are rumors that they are coming to Mattru Jong next. The boys want to get back to their families to be safe, but they may undergo troubles by being recruited.

Ishmael missed his uncle because he had lost all of his family and his friends. When he was in New York for the United Nations Confrence to speak about what he expirienced during the war, he had missed his family because he did not want to be away from his family for that long. His uncle missed Ishmael the same way Ishmael missed him.

"My uncle picked me up in his arms as soon as I got off the van." (Beah 181)


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