Simplicity of Happiness

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

Quote (Ch.8, p. 54)

“Sometimes I watched the little monkeys practice jumping from tree to tree. . . . The sounds of branches snapping off trees became my music. There were certain days when the sounds of the branches breaking made a consistent rhythm that I would enjoy very much, and the sonority of it would echo for a while and would gradually fade into the depths of the forest.”

Why We Chose It

We decided to pick this quote because it seemed rather important to us. We realized Ishmael was attempting to lift his spirits by watching or listening to common things happen in the forest. We thought this was heartwarming and made us see how happy he wanted to be again.

Explanation of Image

The image drawn above interprets all that was from this quote. It has the monkeys Ishmael would watch jump from tree to tree. However, more importantly, it has the music coming from the branch snapping. This was probably the more valuable part of the quote and is therefore the easiest to see when you look at the picture.


This quote is during the time when Ishmael is wandering through the forest alone. It is important because it talks about how he listened and watched things more carefully now that he was by himself. He would listen to the branches snapping so often that it became his "music". Ishmael was trying to find a few simple things to cheer him up in the time of despair.