A Long Way Gone Character Analysis

Words: 785
Pages: 4

“I wanted to see my family, even if it meant dying with them.” This quote from Ishmael Beah’s memoir A Long Way Gone summarizes his deep dedication towards his loved ones. Early in the book he loses his mother, father, and older brother, but throughout the next few years he meets and endures hardships with various groups that grow to be like siblings and parents to him. Vitality of family in its many forms becomes a central theme as we watch Beah both rely on those around him for survival and companionship and keep his immediate family in his mind as his main motivator for everything he does.
In the first chapter, Beah’s village is attacked by rebels, and his first instinct is to search for his family so they can begin the journey to somewhere more safe together. When he realizes they have been separated, he thinks only of the pain his
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The parent-and-child bond he creates with each of them are in a way representative of his gradual return to the person he was before the war. While in their care, he continues healing and forgiving himself (a process he began in the rehabilitation center he temporarily stayed in), begins listening again to hip hop music, and returns to school. He also enjoys brotherly friendships with his childhood best friend Mohamed and cousin Allie. Overall, Ishmael is able to start over with the love and support of his new adoptive family. His relationship with them shares many of the same traits as with his squad in that he grows to trust and be close to them and changes while with them; the main difference between his relationship with his extended family and his army family is that he becomes a better person with his aunt and uncle. “I knew I could never forget my past, but I wanted to stop talking about it so that I would be fully present in my new