a long way gone By ishmael beah

Drew Walquist English 12-A 11/2/15


The novel is a story of a young boy and his struggle to survive the bloody conflict in his homeland of Sierra Leone. Ishmael Beah and several of his friends get caught up in this terrible affair and end up becoming soldiers themselves.


The Theme of this novel is to live each day like it is your last. This means that you should always live for the present because the future is never guaranteed.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a poor country in western Africa that has been involved in many conflicts over the years resulting from having substantial amounts of natural resources.


"Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you". (70)

Every time he allowed himself to be potentially killed he felt as if he gave up a small part of himself.

"One of the unsettling things about my journey, mentally, physically, and emotionally, was that I wasn't sure when or where it was going to end." (69)

All that he knows is that he needs to get to a safe place he just doesn't know where it is.

"I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I've come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge will never come to an end." (199)

Revenge is just a never ending circle of pain and death.

Powerful Words

Loss- He has to deal with losing many people that were close to him.

Fear- He is constantly in fear for his life over the course of his long journey.

Death- He has had his share of killing and experiences with death.

Hope- By the end of the novel he finally has hope to continue on with his life.

Recovery- He had to make an incredible journey towards recovery after the war.

Interview questions

He wants to tell people how easy it truly is to actually dehumanize someone versus bringing them back into society.
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