A Long Way Gone

chapters 5-8


Internal Characterization

During these chapters, Ishmael has an ongoing battle with hunger. As he tries to survive in the wild forests, he doesn't know what he can and can not eat anymore. This hunger leads him to steal food from a young boy, climb tree that he couldn't otherwise climb, and dare him to eat an unknown, potentially poisonous fruit.


Much of these chapters take place in the forests of Sierra Leone, where Ishmael and his friends wonder looking for a safe place, far away from the rebels. This setting plays a role in the conflicts that Ishmael goes through.



"To this day, I have an excellent photographic memory that enables me to remember details of the day-to-day moments of my life, indelibly." (Beah 51)

According to Dictionary.com, indelibly means:

1. making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like:

2. that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like:


"These children now patrolled in special units. killing and maiming civilians." (Beah 37)

According to Dictionary.com, maiming means:

1. To deprive of the use of some part of the body by wounding or the like;cripple

2. To impair; make essentially defective:

Historical Connection

The Rebels of Sierra Leone vs American Revolution

The rebels in this story are trying to overthrow a government they oppose so that they can form a new government. In the American Revolution, American forces fought Britain for their right to be free and form their own government. While there are still many differences between these two groups, these are very similar fundamentals.
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