A Long Way Gone

By Ishmael Beah

Brutality

Savage physical violence

Has feelings of fear, sadness, and anger

Associated with wars, and dictatorships

Brutality is a term that can be seen in different ways by everyone. To me brutality is acting mercilessly in violence. It also can be acting out of extreme hatred.

In the novel, brutality is definitely a constant theme that occurs all throughout. Both sides in the war are brutal towards civilians killing them in unnecessarily cruel ways.

In our society brutality is much different. A topic like police brutality comes to mind when it is nothing more than just being harsh with someone physically not even enough to injure them.




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Innocence

Lack of guile or corruption

feelings of nostalgia, simplicity, and youth

associated with young kids, those who have not committed a crime or those with a high moral standard

This is a concept that to me represents being very young. As you get older you see and hear things and also understand things that are corrupt or evil. Innocence is something that everyone has at some point and loses at some point.

This novel doesn't display innocence as much as the loss of innocence. Ishmael sees terrible deaths throughout the whole book, he sees people burned, maimed, and torn apart. Something no kid should have to see.

In our society innocence is seen as not being guilty. We automatically think of a court scene in which a defendant is declared innocent, but innocence itself is so much more than just not committing a crime, it is ones entire thought process and outlook on life as they once knew it.

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Hope

a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen

brings feelings of mystery and joy, as well as feelings of sadness sometimes

today we can associate it with major changes such as elections (not our election of course) it can also be associated with events like the civil rights movement.

Hope is a word used for very small things and very big things as well. To me hope is looking into the future and seeing yourself and those around you being happy.

In the novel, hope is the driving force for life for these boys. Ishmael has the hope pf finding his family and honestly I think he would have broken down and been much worse off if he didn't have that hope. Hope is all they have.

In our society hope is not seen as significantly as maybe it is in other countries, hope may be the American Dream here but in 3rd world countries it could be surviving until tomorrow.

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