long way gone Essay

Submitted By Spanagoslm
Words: 659
Pages: 3

A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah, is the story of a boy’s long and difficult struggle trying to survive a world enveloped in turmoil, death, and destruction. The novel follows Ishmael Beah, a twelve year old boy, as he experiences the civil war in Sierra Leone. The civil war descends upon Beah as he and his friends are on their way to Mattru Jong to perform as a rap group in a local talent show. Unfortunately, while they are away Beah’s village is attacked by the rebel group known as RUF, or Revolutionary United Front. The rebels then descend upon Mattru Jong with destruction and death as their only goal. Beah, his brother Junior, and their four friends escaped into the forest during the attack and become refugees, wandering from village to village as they struggled to survive. During that time in the jungle, the boys wander from village to village, trying to find a place of safety. In some villages they are accepted and given food while in others that food must be stolen. There were many moments where the possibility of another day hung by the thinnest strand as Beah and his companions faced life or death through rebel encounters, starvation, and villager violence. The extreme conditions of running from war pushed the boys to commit acts they would never have believed themselves to be capable of doing. Throughout the journey endured in the forest, Ishmael must deal with the struggles of finding food and shelter, avoiding capture by the RUF, and dealing with being separated from his family. At one point his group finds refuge in a village called Kamator, but while they are there the village is attacked and Ishmael becomes separated from his group. As he wanders through the forest completely alone, he joins a new group of boys and they headed towards a village called Yele that is occupied by armed forces and considered one of the few safe havens left. On their way there the group heard news that their families are close by in a neighboring village, and the hopes of the boys are lifted higher than ever before. Unfortunately the boys never get to see their families, because as they approach the area, it is attacked by the rebels, and no one in the village survives the destruction and decimation the RUF causes. The boys feel the destruction and continue on towards Yele. Originally Yele is the safe haven the boys had been searching for, but as the rebel groups continue to push back the government troops protecting the