A Long Way Gone

Chapters 5-8

Internal Characterization

Ishmael's thoughts began taking him to places he didn't want to be. He was tired, hungry, lost, and alone. The worst part about being in the forest was the loneliness. Ishmael began to think too much about everything that was bad. He was lost and had no food or water and had no idea how he was going to get out of the forest.
He was constantly terrified as he kept hearing noises of animals in the night. When the wild pigs came and chased Ishmael he was scared and just kept running. Sometimes the only thing to do is just keep running. He ran away from the pigs and ignored the thoughts that he kept thinking until he became numb to it all.

Historical Connection

In August of 2015, a terrorist group called, Boko Haram, led attacks on a village in north east Nigeria. The group set houses on fire in Yobe. The terrorists also attacked with assault riffles and looted shops and houses before torching them.
In Long Way Gone, the rebels led attacks on many villages. One being the village of Kamator, where the boys were staying. It was late when the rebels came and attacked the village. They had semiautomatic machine guns, hunting riffles, and machetes. They burned people and torched homes.


  • Scabbard

This word shows impotance throughout the chapters. Scabbard is a sheath for a gun, weapon or tool. It shows its importance when one of the rebels that caught the boys held the gun to Ishmael's head and threatened to kill him.

  • Notorious

Notorious is someone who's famous or well-known, typically for bad quality or deed. This is important when Ishmael starts thinking about the story his grandmother told him about wild pigs. It makes him think about the pigs and when he runs into them, he knows how to get away from them.



One self vs. nature conflict in the book is when Ishmael gets stuck in the forest. He can't find his way out and gets lost multiple times. Nature fights him when a group of wild pigs comes grunting after him. He runs for a little while until finally vaulting onto a tree. He also steps on a snakes tail and is hissed at while running away.
One self vs. technology conflict in the book is when Ishmael and his friends were captured by the rebels. They began walking the boys back to the village. As they approaced the village, Ishmael thought about how there were only one of the rebels near them against six boys who were ready to fight. Ishmael probably would have fought, but the man had a semiautomatic machine gun. The technology of the gun was too advanced for Ishmael to try and fight, so they couldn't get away.