What issues does the novel provoke you to think about? Why?
“A Long Way Gone” really makes the reader think about the issue of ignorance that the first world has in regards to the way life is in the third world. We all take our lives for granted and cannot even begin to understand what it means to truly suffer and be tortured, either physically, emotionally, or both. Before reading this book, the reader most likely only has a vague idea of what it means to be a child soldier. The descriptive nature of the memoir paints images into the readers mind and the fact that it is being told from the twelve-year-old boy’s perspective makes it all the more real. Matt: It makes you think about the struggle many third world countries face.
For what reasons would you recommend/not recommend this book to a friend?
I would recommend this book to anyone. It gives great insight into the lives of people in Africa and ...view middle of the document...
There is much to be gained from it for any person, and opens the eyes of the reader to the issues our world faces. The reader gets to really be taken in by the book and conceptualize how life must have been for Ishmael. It is necessary for people to read a story like this, told from a real child soldier’s point of view, in order to understand the kind of tragedy that many parts of the earth face.
The second quarter of the book contains far more negative and tragic events than the beginning. How does this affect the reader’s perspective?
The story is introduced at a quick pace. The reader learns about what events take place in the time just before the war had reached Ishmael and his friends. In this there are some positive aspects and descriptions of their lives and how things go for them, what they do on a day to day basis as middle school children in Sierra Leone. The book then takes a turn into a very dark atmosphere as the war reaches boys. Through the second quarter of the book the reader realizes just how severe of a situation it really is. The children undergo events that seem unimaginable to us, and thus the perspective of the reader changes to accommodate the fact that we cannot truly relate to what Ishmael is experiencing. Lucas: You begin to realize just how gruesome and terrible the events that take place, and that are going to take place truly are. Alex: The reader beings to see the horrible truth that Ishmael explains so well.
Is the author effective in describing the events that take place in the story?
Beah does an excellent job of using imagery throughout the novel. In the second quarter of the book, the group of boys go through numerous experiences of pain, struggle, and terror. The author’s use of descriptive language helps to paint a picture of the scene in the reader’s mind. The reader is able to visualize what the events must have been like to witness, and this helps to outline the gravity of the situation. The author also gets across his emotional feelings throughout the book very effectively, comparing them to things that we all have the ability to relate to. Matt: The way he describes everything paints a picture in your mind.