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A Long Way Gone
Transcript of A Long Way Gone
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
(Owen, 15-16) " On the morning that we left for Mattru Jong, we loaded our backpacks with notebooks of lyrics... In those days we wore baggy jeans, and underneath them we had soccer shorts and sweatpants for dancing.." - Page 7
Ishmael uses a lot of details while writing this novel. Here, especially, I can see that he was trying to make it seem like any normal day of their life. He was describing what they were wearing to go to Mattru Jong, while a war is taking place somwhere nearby. The extra details show that when people leave their homes, they always expect to return. Here, however, these children never returned. Language From the Novel "Her child had been shot dead as she ran for her life. Luckily for her the bullet didn't go through the baby's body. When she stopped at where we stood, she sat on the ground and removed her child. It was a girl, and her eyes were still wide open, with an interrupted innocent smile on her face. The bullets could be seen sticking out just a little bit in the baby's body and she was swelling." - page 13
The author uses the details here to enhance the reader's image of this terrifying scene. This gives the reader something to think about even while not reading the book. The issues at hand seem to become more real than if students were just hearing them from a television or reading them from a text book. This is a real story, with horrific true events. It took several months before i began to relearn to sleep without the aid of medicine. But even when I was finally able to fall asleep, I would start awake less than an hour later. I would dream that a faceless gunman had tied me up and begun to slit my throat with the zigzag edge of his bayonet. (Beah 149). My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
(Owen, 25-28) "What I have learned from my experiences is that revenge is not good. I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I've come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge will never come to an end..."(Beah 199) The poem Dulce et Decorum Est deals with the falsities of war. With the author being a discharged soldier, he authenticates the idea that war is not what people think. He portrays the actual gruesome and violent nature of war and calls out the notion that “it is sweet and right to die for one’s country”. What is interesting is that Ishmael compares the opinion of war. In his interview on “The Hour” he talks about the romantic idea of war shared by many Americans versus those of his people. At the end of the poem and of the novel they both come to the realization that war is not to be idealized. "Saying more might push them both to a place they couldn't get back from. He would keep the rest where it belonged; in that tobacco tin buried in his chest where a red heart used to be. Its lid rusted shut." -Beloved Memories When Paul D begins to share some of his memories with Sethe, both try to avoid their painful pasts, and Paul D refers to his "tobacco tin."Paul D refers to the tin a second time later when he has his regretful run in with Beloved. During this time he says that the tin begins to come open. All the memories that he had pushed away, were starting to resurface which made Paul D nervous. Ishmael Beah By: Paola Meghan Kim "If you go there, it will happen again, it will be there waiting for you. Even though it is all over and done with, its always going to be there waiting for you." -Beloved Steph Kayla Cameron Kim Recommendation A Long Way Gone and Beloved In Beloved, Sethe, Paul D, Denver and Beloved all seem to be unable to get over their past memories from slavery to move on for their future. The memories are a struggle for all of the characters and they must over come them in order to live. In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael speaks about the memories of his childhood and how they drive him to escape to freedom. "Memories I sometimes wish I could wash away, even though I am aware that they are an important part of what my life is; who I am now. I stayed awake all night, anxiously waiting for daylight, so that I could fully return to my new life, to rediscover the happiness I had known as a child, the joy that had stayed alive inside me even through times when being alive itself became a burden. These days I live in three words: my dreams, and the experience of my new life, which trigger memories from the past" (Beah, 19-20) . "I looked into the sky and saw how the thick clouds kept trying to cover the moon, yet it would reappear again and again to shine all night long. In some way my journey was like that of the moon-although I had even more thick clouds coming my way to make my spirit dull" (Beah, 19-20). "Over and over in our training he would say that same sentence: Visualize the enemy, the rebels who killed your parents, your family, and those who are responsible for everything that has happened to you" (Beah, 112). If I were to recommend A Long Way Gone to someone it would be anyone who was interested in the life and hardships of war and child soldiers. Anyone who is an advocate of the Kony 2012 project would enjoy this book because A Long Way Gone truly demonstrates the read life of a child soldier. This would also be a great book to read if you think war of any kind is glorious. The people who watch Rambo, play Halo or Call of Duty believe they understand war, but only on a Hollywood level where you come back to life after a battle. In reality, war is scary,chaotic, and traumatizing, which Beah wanted to get across. Overall though, this autobiography is appealing not only to those intrigued with war but to anyone who likes a little action in a book or anyone who wants a good read. Denver remembers back to what Sethe told her about the past and how it is always there and waiting for you. Sethe has difficulty talking to Denver about this because for so many years she has tried to forget about her past, but she realizes that is not possible. ???????????