A Long Way Gone

Chapters 5 through 8

Ishmael Beah

How does he feel throughout this ordeal?

He is...

  • Hungry--hungry enough beat up a little boy and steal his food.
  • Terrified and paranoid--he's constantly under the threat of being killed by rebels and often runs away from his own shadow.
  • In need of reassurance/support--in these trying times, he is constantly looking for support and reassurance, but is unable to find any.
  • Frustrated and desperate--after a rebel attack, he leaves his friend Kaloko and sets out on his own to try to stop living in fear and to try to find a hospitable community where he can live.
  • Heartbroken--he has been separated from his friends and family and may not see them ever again.
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A dense, Sierra Leonian forest where Ishmael survives on an unnamed fruit for days but also faces many challenges, like being attacked by wild boars or snakes and/or possibly running out of food.

Situations Similar to Ishmael's


Number One

Nature vs. Self: Ishmael is constantly under the threat of nature doing him in. He is attacked by wild boars, snakes, and the possibility of running out of food or not being able to find water haunts him.

Number Two

Man vs. Self: Ishmael is constantly thinking about the horrors that he's been through and what dangers lie ahead--he is never able to relax and is constantly under pressure. He doesn't want to think about what happened to him, and, as a result, he spends all of his time trying not to think about it and bottling up his emotions, which can be harmful in the long run.

Important Words


To afflict with great bodily or mental suffering; pain


To bring to a condition of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act.