Monday, May 16, 2011

Literary Devices 2

Setting: The setting of 'A Long Way Gone' is war-torn Sierra Leone.

Tone: The overall tone to this story is a dark, more serious tone.

Mood: In the beginning of the novel, the mood is relatively bright. This is because the war has not yet completely destroyed the country. However, as the story progresses, the mood begins to get more and more serious.

Simile: When Ishmael witness's a rebel soldier kill and old man, he writes  "The rebel pulled the trigger, and like lightning, I saw the spark of fire that came from the muzzle." (33)

Personification: A common phrase that Ishmael's grandma used to tell him is "we must
strive to be like the moon” (16)

Foil: In 'A Long Way Gone', Ishmael becomes a foil to himself. This is because before the war broke out, he was an ordinary kid. However, after the war broke out he became a brutal soldier. After the war is when he is a foil to himself because the protagonist side of him is a normal kid, but the antagonist side of him is still a killer. He struggles to overcome his antagonist ways and once again become an ordinary person.

Irony: It is ironic that Ishmael desperately wanted to find his family and hoped they were alive, but at the same time he was killing people.

Theme: One theme from 'A Long Way Gone' is that there is always hope. Even though Ishmael had gone through terrible experiences, he is able to come out of them and find who he really is again.

Literary Devices 1

Tragedy- An example of tragedy in A Long Way Gone is when Ishmael comes so close to being reunited with his family only to see the village get raided by rebels, and everybody in the village is killed.

Imagery- An example of Imagery is from Chapter 8 when Ishmael is in the forest, " On the third day i found myself in the middle of a thick forest, standing beneath huge trees whose leaves and branches made it difficult to see the sky" - (pg. 49).

Foreshadowing-  An of foreshadowing is at the end of chapter 6 just before Ishmael gets separated from his brother Junior, "It was during that attack in the village of Kamator that my friends and I separated. It was the last time I saw Junior, my older brother" (pg. 43). This foreshadows the death of his brother Junior because he says its the last time he ever sees him.

Plot- In  A Long Way Gone Ishmael. Beah finds himself running from civil war in his country. He leaves his home village fighting for his survival with his friends and brother. Ishmael eventually gets separated from his friends and brother and he wanders by himself looking for safety and the rest of his family. He joins up with other boys looking for safety and he ends up joining the army figthing for his survival. while he is in the army Ishmael becomes a ruthless killer hunting fo rthe heads of every rebel he sees.

Flashback- Throughout the story Ishmael has many flashbacks. One example of a flashback is in Chapter 8 while he is wandering around the forest, "I thought about when Junior and I had visited Kabati and would take walks with our grandfather on paths around the coffee farms by the village. He would point out medical leaves and trees whose barks were important medicines. During each visit, Grandfather always gave us a special medicine that was supposed to enhance the brain's capacity to absorb and retain knowledge" (pg. 51).

Rhythm & Rhyme- Rhythm and rhyme show up thoughout the book when Ishmael recalls lyrics to some of his favorite Hip Hop songs such as OPP by Naughty by Nature, " You down with OPP (Yeah you know me) You Down with OPP (Yeah you know me) You down with OPP (Yeah you know me) Who's Down with OPP (Every last homie)" (pg. 38)

Fable- An example of a fable in A Long Way gone is the Bra Spider story that Musa tells his friends on pg. 75.

Nemesis- An example of  nemesis in A Long Way Gone would be the fight between the rebels and army beccause the rebels are the bad guys and the army are the good guys; the rebels are killed and the army soldiers such as Ishmael and his friends celebrate.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


This article comes from ABC News and it is about how the events that Beah states in the book could be exaggerated. It is reported that instead of the three years worth of events, they only lasted one year.

This link is an interview with the author, Ishmael Beah. He talks about his experiences in Sierra Leone and the new experiences he had when he left that country. These experiences include being in an elevator for the first time as well as seeing a major city, Freetown.

This is an interview with the author and he discusses his experiences as a child soldier. He talks about how before the civil war broke out, he was like any other kid. He then talks about how after the war broke out he was forced to go into the army.

This is another interview with the author. In this interview, he talks about how he has starting writing a fiction novel set in Sierra Leone. He also says that he has built a school in Sierra Leone. He then goes on and talks about his influences and what he will do next with his career.

This article is about the war in Sierra Leone. It gives the reader an overview of the war and the reasons for the war. It also gives information on the victims of the war.

This article gives background information on Sierra Leone such as the type of government, history, and geography. It then gives information on the civil war.

This article is about how recently (April 27, 2011) Sierra Leone had celebrated it's 50th year of independence. It says that country has slowly moved towards peace after being stricken with civil war.

This article is a "country profile" on Sierra Leone. It gives a broad overview of the country and outlines the war that takes place in 'A Long Way Gone.'

This article gives in depth coverage of  the civil war in Sierra Leone since it first broke out in 1991. It time-lines events since the outbreak until 2001. This time period is the is the time where Ishmael would have been in Sierra Leone.

This link is to information about the movie 'Blood Diamond'. This movie takes place in Sierra Leone during the civil war. It gives an accurate depiction of how life must have been during this war.

These are the lyrics to the remixed version of Kanye West's 'Diamond's From Sierra Leone'. In the first verse he talks about the diamond conflict during the time of the Sierra Leone civil war, and how it resulted in the deaths of many people.

This article is from 1995 which was right when the Civil War was occurring. It's a short article and tells the reader that thousands of Sierra Leoneans had fled the country due to rebel attacks. In the book, these attacks are accounted in more detail from Ishamael's point of view.

This is another article from 1995, the middle of the Civil War. It says that the government forces (Ishmael) killed 23 rebels during a six hour firefight. These types of events are described in greater detail in 'A Long Way Gone.'

This article talks about how Sierra Leone is "no place to be young." It says that in the governments army, children compose 1/5 of the people.Children are forced to go into the army and become "soldiers, human shields, spies, porters and sex slaves." Ishmael was part of this army and he recalls his personal experiences in 'A Long Way Gone.'

This article says that the abuse of children during wartime was 'extensive.' In a 'Long Way Gone', Ishmael talks about how many of his friends and people he knew were killed and abused.


Sierra Leone Flag this is where Ishmael is from and where some of the civil war takes place.
Boy Soldier holding a AK-47, the weapon boys soldiers often use.
Ishmael and his friend were big fans of rap. They carried around a Walkman with Run DMC tapes. This Walkman and the rap music often saved their lives when villagers thought they were rebel soldiers.
Boys soldiers often stole jewelry and other items when they raided villages. 
Many of the child soldiers witnessed their family die and joined the war to get vengence for their familes; this was the case for Ishmael.
Many young boys who used to play soccer and run around with their friends became ruthless soldiers and killers.

This is an image of children in Sierra Leone who have become orphans as a result of the civil war that is taking place in the country. Ishmael also became a orphan after his parents and brothers were killed by rebels.
This is a picture a Sierra Leone rebel, throughout the story Ishmael is running for his life away from young soldiers like the one above.
This is a image of a boy injured from fighting in the war; Ishmael witnessed many of his friends get killed and many others injured.
Throughout the story Ishmael and his friends get captured by men guarding their villages, he and his friends are always mistaken to be rebel soldiers but they always got saved by the cassette tapes that Ishmael carried. One of the cassette tapes was a Naughty By Nature tape and the song O.P.P was playing.
This is an image of the city Freetown in Sierra Leone; Ishmael spent some time here while he was in the rehabilitation center.

Older soldiers often used children to carry around their ammo on the battlefield.
After being saved from warfare child soldiers were sent to rehabilitation centers to learn how to go back to their old lifestyle.
Boy soldiers often become addicted to drugs and alcohol such as cocaine, marijuana and gin.
In the A Long Way Gone, Ishmael witnesses many of his friends die right in front of him.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Major Characters

Ishmael Beah: He is the protagonist and main character of the book. He was a child soldier in the Sierra Leone Armed Forces until he was rescued and rehabilitated. His purpose in 'A Long Way Gone' is to show the harsh realities of the gruesome war in Sierra Leone.

Uncle Tommy: He becomes Ishmael's foster parent after he comes out of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces. His purpose in 'A Long Way Gone' is to show that their is still hope for those that are trapped in the war. This is because he cares for Ishmael and helps him forget the horrific events in the war.

Alhaji: Enlisted in the Sierra Leone Armed Forces. He becomes one of Ishmael's closest friends. His purpose in 'A Long Way Gone' is to help Ishmael get though the war. These two characters can easily relate to one another because they both are in similar situations with their family/friends.
Esther: A nurse at the rehabilitation center where Ishmael is located. Ishmael develops a close relationship with her. Her purpose in 'A Long Way Gone' is, like Uncle Tommy, to show that there are still good people that can help you get out of the situation you are in.

The Lieutenant: He is the father figure for Ishmael when he goes into battle. His purpose in 'A Long Way Gone' is to encourage and motivate the child soldiers to fight against the rebels.

Point of View

This story is in first person point of view in Ishmael's perspective. Ishmael is against the war at the beginning and the end of the book. When he is a soldier in the war he finds himself obsessed with killing the rebels and he is in support of the war and stoppign the rebels. After rehabilitation he is against the war and wants it to end.

Story Setting

Ishmael Beah's story takes place between 1993-1998 in Sierra Leone,West Africa. He finds himself in the middle of a Civil War in his country. Ishmael must excape from the war and find his family, but he ends being recruited into the army and fighting against the Rebels.