Long Way Gone
an infographic by Kaylee Trejo
Internal Characterization - Ishmael
Words to Know
Historical Connection: Child Soldiers Today
In A Long Way Gone, rebels capture Ishmael and his friends, along with other kids their age, in order to recruit the strongest ones for the army. They would force the chosen kids to go into battle and sometimes even kill their entire families. When this happens, Ishmael is only 12 years old, and while he manages to escape, other kids didn't.
Today, kids Ishmael's age are still being forced to serve as soldiers. For example, in northern India, the Peoples' Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), is abducting young children and taking them to remote villages to train them. There are an estimated amount of 500-3,000 child soldiers in the region. Those children are forced to live in harsh conditions and to learn how to fight and torture.
Man vs. Self
At the beginning of Chapter 5, Ishmael states that he and his friends are "so hungry, it hurt to drink water". They are starving, which drives them to do something that they would have never even thought of doing until now.
When the boys see a child enjoying two ears of corn, they lose control and chase after the child, attempting to steal his food.