English 11: B1
A Long Way Lost
; A Deeper Look Into
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah War has no mercy, it takes all in its way, it does not stop for children, it does not stop for anyone.
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah is a true story of Ishmael's life as a young boy durning the civil war in Sierra Leone, Africa, he tells of his time as boy solider, the times before the war, and all that happened in the 3 year time span from 12 years old15. Throughout his journey, Ishmael losses everything he ever knew. He carried the memories with him, his hurt followed him after he escaped. Ishmael isn't the only one that faces loss, everyone caught in the war loses something, whether it was their families, or their humanity. Beah loses his humanity along with everything else to the war. He faces loss throughout his entire journey. While caught in the war, he was forced to give up on his childhood in order to survive. When he finally stops and sees what is happening it is already too late, "my childhood had gone by without my knowing" (126), he was so caught up in trying to survive that he left his childhood behind. He lost the last bit of his childhood when he officially lost his family to death, not just his real family, but the friends that became his family along the way. He blames the rebels for everything that happens, and after he losses his family he is out for revenge, "I imagined capturing serval rebels at once, locking them inside a house, sprinkling gasoline on it, and tossing a match. We watch it burn and I laugh." (113), the death of his family took the last of his innocence, his childhood, leaving his with the need for revenge.
The warfare took a toll on Ishmael, he lost himself, his humanity, and everything he ever stood for. The war changed him, in becoming a solider, he lost his humanity, "killing became as easy as drinking water. My mind had not only snapped with that first killing, it had also stopped making remorseful records..." (122) he stopped caring, nothing phased him, killing became the only thing he knew. The bloodshed caused Ishmael a lot of suffering, not only durning, but after. He suffered from not only physical, but emotional pain. His memories haunted him, and no matter how hard he tried to block them out, relief never came, "the more I resisted thinking, the longer the days became, and I felt as if my head was becoming heavier with each passing day." (52). Mentally, becoming a solider took an extreme toll on him, causing him years of pain, even after he was freed from the war. The memories he was left with forced themselves in, "it was as if a
blacksmith had an anvil in my head." (140). After escaping the war he is still left with the nightmares of all he witnessed and all he did. After the drugs wore off it really began to hit him,
"we were still traumatized, and now that we had time to thnk, the fastened