A Long Way Gone - 3 Essay

834 Words Feb 22nd, 2013 4 Pages
A Long Way Gone

Ishmael Beah had a really tough life throughout his childhood and teenage years. In his literary work, A Long Way

Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah uses symbols to underscore his central theme of oppression and/or

freedom. The three symbols he used to underscore his central theme of oppression and freedom was Ishmael's AK-47, his

cassette tapes, and the drugs he used.

Ishmael's AK-47 was the most important symbol that Ishmael Beah used to underscore his central theme. At the

beginning of A Long Way Gone Ishmael was terrified of guns. He didn't want anything to do with them. But once he started in

the war against the rebels, guns were there to comfort him. He didn't want to leave his
…show more content…
(Beah 15) The rap cassettes made him connect with his friends and family because they would all

dance and sing to them. Ishmael would resort to music when he just wanted to think or even just relax. He would find security

with his cassette tapes. When his cassette tapes were demolished he had finally lost control of himself. “A soldier took my old

pants and threw them a blazing fire…. I ran toward the fire, but the cassettes had already started to melt” (Beah 110). That

was when he finally had completed his change to a whole different person. "Memorizing lyrics left me little time to think about

what had happened in the war." (Beah, 163). Ishmael Beah's rap cassette tapes had a huge impact on his life and how he

acted. Without them he was no longer himself, but a monster.

The final thing that encapsulated Ishmael Beah that was a symbol in A Long Way Gone was drugs, which

particularly were marijuana and cocaine. Drugs had change Ishmael into something he didn't want to be. Once he started on

drugs he craved them more and more until he would finally do anything and everything to get them. Drugs made him want to

kill others. They would go on huge raids and kill all the rebels just to get some more drugs. “Sometimes we were asked to

leave for war in the middle of a movie. We would come back hours later after killing many people and continue the movie as

if we

More about A Long Way Gone - 3 Essay

Open Document