A Long Way Gone Symbolism

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Pages: 4

Suffering from oppression is something no one should deal with. “A Long Way Gone” is a novel that shows how multiple symbols can be used for people to achieve the correct freedom everyone deserves. In his literary work, “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier”, Ishmael Beah uses symbols to underscore the main theme of freedom and oppression. Main symbols as the hierarchy of needs underscore oppression in the novel. Ishmael's symbolic gun becomes attached to him as a certainty of freedom. Triumph of the human spirit shows symbolic oppression on what the characters went through to gain freedom. Hierarchy of needs, Ishmael's symbolic gun, and the triumph of the human spirit is all main ways on how Ishmael Beah underscores the main theme …show more content…
Ishmael finds out from oppression that his gun is symbolic. As Ishmael's father used to say: “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.” (Beah 54). Ishmael deals with great oppression; however, he keeps on pushing forward to earn freedom. As the depression of isolation from other human beings, he believes his gun will be with him as long as he keeps pushing past the cruel of oppression. In addition, Ishmael's gun proved symbolic importance in him suffering from oppression in the novel “A Long Way Gone.” His gun plays an importance symbol by Ishmael Beah by when Ishmaels sees the rebels, he channels it to the loss of his family. “Whenever I looked at rebels during raids, I got angrier, because they looked like the rebels who played cards in the ruins of the village where I had lost my family. So when the lieutenant gave orders, I shot as many as I could, but I didn’t feel any better.” (Beah 122). As Ishmael's gun is symbolic to the theme oppression, his orders were to kill an infinite number of rebels. Although Ishmael followed orders, his gun led him to greater oppression by killing rebels. Lastly, Ishmael's gun is symbolic to the oppression of the novel because his G3 rifle becomes a part of Ishmael. “I had my gun now, and as the corporal always said, this gun is your source of power in these times. It will protect you and provide you with all you need if you know how to use it well.” (Beah 124). The guns show its symbolism to oppression because its Ishmael only way to cope with the war. Ishmael Beah has to live with oppression in order to survive and remain safe in the violent nightmare. In conclusion, the gun as a symbol helps Ishmael losing his family, friends and home, his gun is the only thing Ishmael relies on to help with the cruel