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A Long Way Gone- By:Hailey Garrett
Transcript of A Long Way Gone- By:Hailey Garrett
Literary Devices- Flashback, Metaphor, and Irony
- One of the many flashbacks that Ishmael had in the story, would be on pg. 51 when Ishmael remembers visiting his grandparents in Kabati. He says "I thought about when Junior and I has visited Kabati and would take walks with our grandfather on paths around the coffee farms by the village. He would point out leaves and trees whose barks were important medicines." Ishmael believes that he drank water called "Nessie" and that it helped him permanently retain any information that he has learned in primary school.
One of the Metaphors that I found in the story was on pg. 19 when it says
"The eyes of the nearly dead are redder than the blood that comes out of them". This is relevant because Ishmael is now becoming so used to blood and dead bodies, that he is seeing them everywhere. He sometimes will think that water is blood because that is all he sees anymore. The situation is becoming worse and worse because it is a never ending war and people are dying left and right.
Throughout this book, there were several different types of irony. One of the situations that stuck out to me was on pg.134 when it says " We fought for the RUF; the army is the enemy. We fought for freedom, and the army killed my family and destroyed my village. I will kill any of those army bastards every time I get a chance to do so." This is ironic to me because, it shows that this is just a never ending war between the two sides. The rebels are going to keep killing Ishmael's friends and family, because Ishmael keeps killing theirs. Everyone has lost their humanity and is just killing people because they think that it is the right thing to do.
Literary Devices-Imagery, Theme, and Mood
Some imagery that I found in this book would be on pg. 49 when it states "I had seen heads cut off by machetes, smashed by cement bricks, and rivers filled with so much blood that the water had ceased flowing". This is so brutal because this is how life was now for Ishmael. He was surrounded by war all the time, and it never got any easier for him. It would make him dizzy, sick to his stomach, and sometimes he would just have to close his eyes and pretend that none of it was even real.
Throughout the story, I noticed several different themes that went along with the story. One of the themes would be survival. That's all that Ishamael Beah knew how to do. He had to make himself learn to survive even in the toughest times. He must not think about much he has lost and how little he really has, but rather that he has to survive because that is all he knows. He must let go of his attachments with his family and friends, and move on to the next day. Ishmael can't afford to mourn about his loss for fear of his own safety.
As a reader,I would say that the mood of the book changed often. During the war times, all you could feel was sadness and helplessness for Ishmael. Nothing good ever happened and everything bad that could have happened to Ishmael, happened. The mood became lighter one Ishmael went through rehabilitation and then decided to move to the city. He then had a change in his life for the better and war was no longer controlling his life.
Literary Device- Tone
The overall tone for this book would be a dark, serious tone. The war brings cruelty, sadness, and a lot of mourning for everyone. The tone is very straight to the point and direct. There isn't much happiness throughout the story and with death always comes pain and grief. Towards the end, the tone is not as serious because things are finally turning around for everyone and life is getting better.
Literary Devices- Personification, Setting, and Simile
- One example of personification in "A long way gone" would be on pg.16 when it states " beyond the farms, palm trees waved their fronds with the moving wind". Ishmael is describing the setting and this is when Ishmael was staying with his grandmother in Mattru Jong ,in a town called Kabati. He was with his friends and brother Talloi, Junior, Kaloko and Gibrilla.
The setting in "A long way gone" would take place in Sierra Leone throughout the war from 1993-1997. During this time, Ishmael traveled a lot in the forest
from town to town joining the army along the way, and having to fight against the rebels. He never had a permanent home, but had many temporary homes. After Ishmael went to rehabilitation, he then found out that his uncle who was a carpenter, lived in New York City, and decided to live with him in 1998.
One simile I found in this book on pg.95 was "They lay on the ground in different postures of pain, some reaching for their heads, others curled up like a child in a womb, frozen." I chose this simile because I thought it was really relevant to the setting. This is a time of war and everything is hectic and there is always death in the air. Everyone is lifeless and helpless and it shows just how bad off everyone really is. Ishmael is so distraught because he is now realizing that his family could be this bad off and that they are most likely dead.