Long Way Gone

by Ishmael Beah

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Historical Connection - American Civil War

In the book, it takes place during The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-2002). It is a fight against the rebels and their fellow people. It is similar in a way to the brutal fight on common ground with other Civil Wars like our own.

Vocab Word One

Machete - It showed up many times. Ishmael even contemplated what it would feel like to be attacked by one. Many of their enemies and people against them were armed with one.

Vocab Word Two

Crapes- The shoes are mentioned many times throughout the book, often emphasized. They seem symbolic with how Ishmael is feeling. The crapes start with being new and in good condition, to tattered.


Conflict: Self vs. Nature

On Ishmael's journey through the woods, he met with many birds and animals. Many of them were not friendly and wanted to attack him. He struggles against nature and the dangers it brings. "They chased me for about half a mile as I looked for a tree to climb. Fortunately, I found one that i was able to mount in one jump. The pigs stopped and started charging at the bottom of the tree...I was walking very fast but very quietly, until I accidentally stepped on the tail of a snake. It started hissing and scuttling toward me" (Beah 53-54).
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Conflict: Self vs. Man

The boys were met with scared and untrusting people. Woman would lead their children away and men would attack without warning, making it hard for the group of boys to travel freely. "Someone had started a rumor about the 'seven boys,' us... we were surrounded by muscular men with machetes who almost killed us before they realized that we were just children running away from the war...mothers would grab their children and run home" (Beah 57).