A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah Book Review

  • Category: Books, Literature,
  • Words: 470 Pages: 2
  • Published: 07 May 2021
  • Copied: 148

“At the end of these long discussions, our faces and eyes glittered with hope and promise of happiness.” (Beah, 198, Hardcopy). Within Ishmael Beah’s memoir, A Long Way Gone, numerous themes are shown throughout Ishmael’s past life during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Hope, loss of innocence, and horrors of war are all symbolized throughout. Each theme utilized connects the narrator by having a use of importance. 

Moreover, the theme's subject of Horrors of war begins to affect Ishmael in a dark matter. "In the back of the van were three more dead bodies, two girls and a boy, and their blood was all over the seats and the ceiling of the van." (Page 12, Online Text) This scene in time is one of the first things that Ishmael witnesses. The horrifying image that has crossed between him struck him internally. Furthermore, occurring during the start of the war-, it was so random;  Ishmael mentally had no time to prepare for it. He witnessed all the past people and family's in the village, probably imagining that he could soon be like them. The horrors of war affect the narrator, Ishmael Beah, both internally and mentally. Conversely, the examples of the distinct themes are just as crucial to Ishmael.  

Loss of Innocence being utilized shows Ishmael’s shift in character. “The idea of death didn’t cross my mind at all, and killing became as easy as drinking water.” (Page 122, Hardcopy). The narrator started the novel acting ordinarily, but the civil war begins to alter into a new person. Notwithstanding, his lifestyle was to slaughter as much as possible. He began to lose sympathy in a way and all the impeccability that he retained in the first place. Furthermore, this theme is also important to the reader as the reader can comprehend the new personality that Ishmael is commencing. The losing of integrity and all the other themes correlate to the narrator in A Long Way Gone. 

As hope is employed, the value of such brings a warm connection between the narrator. Similar to the quote used at the beginning of my writing, “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen.” (Beah, 54, Hardcopy), is another quote that emphasis’s the tenacity of the theme. This quote connects back to the things that Ishmael has to withstand and how he shouldn’t quit. He is meant for a purpose, and the objective is to believe in a better day upcoming. Along with the several other times that hope has been exported, the theme connects to Ishmael to keep him motivated and help him comprehend that he can push forward past the dark times.

Each theme utilized connects the narrator by having a use of importance. Accordingly, all the themes being used by the author have an immeasurable purpose that builds the memoir’s atmosphere overall. Horrors of War build Ishmael’s character from the start, Loss of Innocence alters the personality he once had, and hope humbles him down and helps stimulate and comfort Ishmael.


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