A Long Way Gone

The story of Ishmael Beah


  • Chapters 5-8 took place in many locations since Ishmael and his friends were constantly on the run
  • They spent most of their time in different villages.
  • They stayed for a few months in the village of Kamator, constantly working on the fields
  • After the rebels attacked Kamator, Ishmael spent many days alone in a thick forest full of wild animals, with the only food source being a strange fruit.

Abandoned Sierra Leone Village

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Ishmael Beah


  • Ishmael was extremely desperate for food at many times, causing him to steal.
  • Terror was constantly in his head. Either it was rebels, a herd of wild pigs, or hunger and Ishmael always had to fear for his life.
  • Tears for his family were also shed. He had lost his old way of life and he wanted it back.


man vs self: Ishmael spent most of his time in the forest fighting himself mentally, trying not to the think of all the terrible things that had happened

man vs nature: The wild pigs in the forest don't care if Ishmael has lost everything. They attack him and try to tear him apart.

Fierce Man Slaughtering Pig

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Important Words


Revolutionary United Front

Rebel Army that fought a civil war in Seirra Leone from 1991 to 2000.

They used Guerrilla, criminal, and terror tactics such as murder and torture

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This group is the horrible "rebels" that have been causing atrocities through out the book.

They're the reason Ishmael has lost his family, his home, and his old way of life.


A larger cleaver like knife most commonly used for agriculture
In the long way gone, citizens have turned their farming tool into a weapon. Many groups of men protecting their villages threaten Ishmael's life with their sharp machetes.

Historical Connection

Something too similar to this is going on today in the Middle East today. Terrrorist groups such as Isis are constantly attacking innocent citizens in their own villages. Attacks have also been initiated in other places such as the recent one in Paris. This is causing people to mistrust all Islamics, just like in Seira Leone when people began mistrusting all young men.
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Monuments around the world light up for Paris