A Long Way Gone Essay

Submitted By gongshowflow
Words: 655
Pages: 3

Ishmael’s Journey Sierra Leone was not a desirable place for a young man to be in the 90’s. Both sides of the civil war recruited and abused boys by forcing them to fight and getting them addicted to drugs. Most villages and families were forced to flee their homes and spend a long time on the run, moving from place to place to avoid the war. Families were separated and people were forced to either live on their own or seek others who they could find comfort in spending time with. Ishmael Beah and his brother Junior were separated from their family and eventually separated from each other, which forced Ishmael to travel with and depend on people he did not truly know. Even though Ishmael had his friends to rely on, he faced an overwhelming sense of loneliness due to the loss of his family. This is one of the many forces that constrained Ishmael and had a major affect on his childhood and the person he would grow up to become. The other influence that had a huge impact on his life was his experience in the army, including the things he did to others as well as his drug addiction. The experience Ishmael had as a child soldier is something that left a permanent mark on his life and changed the type of person he became when he was older. One of the best examples of Ishmael’s loneliness is the month he spent in the forest by himself, during which all he did besides eating and sleeping was fight himself mentally. After witnessing so many horrible events, all Ishmael could ever think about was the things he had seen, and he did not like remembering these things, so he tried to block all his thoughts. Here is a quote that sums up Ishmael’s mindset when he was in the forest: “ The most difficult part of being in the forest was the loneliness. It became unbearable each day. One thing about being lonesome is that you think too much, especially when there isn't much else you can do. I didn't like this and I tried to stop myself from thinking, but nothing seemed to work. I decided to just ignore every thought that came to my head, because it brought too much sadness.” It would be hard to imagine going through something like that, and it is even harder to imagine that the events Ishmael was to encounter afterwards were even worse. Ishmael’s memories had a truly terrible affect on his mind, keeping him up at night and running through his thoughts when he was