A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah

Peyton Troseth, hour 3, 11/02/15

Being a child soldier would be one of my worst nightmares. Ishmael is living this life in this memoir. Him and his five friends had to flee the village because of the rebels. The rebels are trying to take over their village and will do whatever they need to do so. Ishmael and his friends run from village to village to try and escape from the rebels.

One of the major themes of this Memoir is war. This is a picture of the child soldiers shooting their guns.

5 of the most important words in the novel

Unsettling, unsure, walking, war, and blood. These are 5 of the most important words in this novel because they all have a huge part in the book whether it's a feeling, something they're doing, something that's happening, or just something that's common in the novel. They all have a lot to do with what the novel is about.


  • "Things changed rapidly in a matter of seconds and no one had any control over anything. We had yet to learn these things and implement survival tactics, which was what it came down to." -Ishmael Beah pg. 29

-Ishmael knows now that everything is going to keep changing and he has to resort to survival tactics to stay alive.

  • "My eyes widened, a smile forming on my face. Even in the middle of the madness there remained that true and natural beauty, and it took my mind away from my current situation as I marveled at this sight." -Ishmael Beah pg. 59

-Even during the war Ishmael can enjoy the natural beauty. Him and his friends had never saw the ocean so they were amazed by it all. They are all children at heart but just forced to grow up too fast because of the circumstances beyond their control.

  • "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 all you need, if you know how to use it well."" -Ismael Beah pg. 124

-Ishmael is being told basically that if he wants to survive he needs to use his gun.

I watched an interview with Ishmael and the interviewer was Jon Stewart. The interview was about his book and Ishmael talked about how he wants American readers to learn about war and that there is nothing romantic or fun about it but people can get out of war and regain their lives again.
"Ishmael Beah." Comedy Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2015.

"Child Soldiers - Google Search." Child Soldiers - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2015.

Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. Print.