Themes In A Long Way Gone

Words: 1296
Pages: 6

In the memoir A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, Ishmael reflects, “When I was young, my 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.’ I thought about these words during my journey, and they kept me moving even when I didn’t know where I was going. Those words became the vehicle that drove my spirit forward and made it stay alive,” (Beah, 2007, pg. 54). The underlying idea of perseverance and keeping hope through struggles is a common theme in human history and is very prevalent in both A Long Way Gone and “Carry On” by Fun. In my own life, I have had to persevere when I had oceans of homework to swim through and …show more content…
He is separated from his family and forced to constantly be on the run to survive. He, along with another group of boys he encounters, goes from village to village in search of food, shelter, and his lost family. This routine becomes normal for him and the small struggles he faces become part of his daily routine. Ishmael must keep looking forward and thinking about the possibility of a normal life in the future. He doesn’t let the struggles pull him down like the stone in the water. Similar to the narrator in the song, he moves on and continues in his life, not letting his struggles define him. However, it proves more difficult to get over the war as a whole, rather than the small, individual struggle. His life on the run comes to an end when he becomes a child soldier, brainwashed to be a pawn of the army. His life then takes another sharp turn when he is taken in by the Unicef. They try to put him through rehabilitation and put his life back on track. This proves to be quite difficult though, as his brain is now wired to think only about the war. He can’t even think about the events before the war. The Sierra Leone civil war is his once-in-a-lifetime struggle. It haunts him, but he has to persevere through rehabilitation, even when his instincts tell him that he belongs on the front lines. The war has taken over his life and he must test his willpower to break free from its grasp. As repeated many times in the song, he has no option other than to pick up his feet and move forward. After, months of rehabilitation, he is able to live a normal life. He even ends up moving to New York, where he can live free of worry and where the war can no longer affect him. While I have not had to deal with my once-in-a-lifetime struggle yet, I have experience dealing with the day-to-day struggles described