A Long Way Gone: Ishmael Beah’s Analysis

January 10, 2022 by Essay Writer

How important is your family to you? To me my family is very important because they are the people I care the most about and I would do anything for them. In A long way gone a memoir written by Ishmael Beah is about a young boy named Ishmael Beah and how he went from being an ordinary child that played soccer and liked listening to rap music to being part of the army to fight against the rebels. After he joined the army he soon got addicted to drugs which were cocaine and gunpowder which caused him to go crazy and totally change him as a person. Ishmaels sense of identity is challenged by manipulation because when he first joined the army his commanding officers were telling him to kill to avenge his family which was a source of manipulation.

Ishmael was being manipulated before he was introduced to soldier culture from people telling him the war won’t last long. Ishmael says “He looked at me as if to assure me that we would soon go home.”(Beah pg.15) He is being manipulated by his friend because his friend is saying they will be able to go home soon but the friend knows that they won’t be able to go home because the war will last a while. Another thing Ishmael says is “We agreed that the war was just a passing phase that wouldn’t last over three months.”(Beah pg.15) He is also being manipulated here because the war will last a lot longer than that but he doesn’t think so.

Ishmael is manipulated after he was introduced to soldier culture by the drugs. Ishmael says “I was sweating, and they threw water on my face and gave me a few more of the white capsules. I stayed up all night and couldn’t sleep for a week. We went out two more times that week and I had no problem shooting my gun.”(Beah pg122) Ishmaels first intoduction to drugs makes him stay awake band fight . Thats probably why the army keeps all the soldiers high all the time. Also they can’t think straight so they will do whatever they are told. Another thing Ishmael said was “Whenever I looked at the rebels during raids, I got angrier, because they looked likke the rebels who played cards in the ruins of the village where I had lost my family.” (Beah pg122) Clearly the manipulation is to help benefit the army and not Ishmael because the more he believes all those things the more he will help the army.


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