A Long Way Gone : Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier

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There are approximately 250,000 child soldiers in the world today. Sixty percent of these soldiers are young boys, and eighty percent of them are under the age of fifteen. In the memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah describes his three-year experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Throughout the five phases of the novel Ishmael 's personality changes drastically. It is more of an evolution than it is development. In the end, he ends up as an entirely different person than he began as. Throughout the book, Ishmael faces many challenges. In the beginning, he copes with the trauma of losing his family. Later, he struggles with his addiction to cocaine. In the end, he 's learning how to adjust to a normal life. These significant moments shape his character, and explain why he acts the way that he does. The first part of the book is about Ishmael 's life before the war, which lasts until he is about twelve years old. In this section, Ishmael appears to be ignorant. He says, “At times I thought that some of the stories the passerbys told were exaggerated. The only wars I knew of were those that I had read about in books or seen in movies” (pg. 5). Ishmael doesn 't believe the others because he doesn 't understand what is going on with the war. He 's never experienced kind of suffering, and he doesn’t believe how it could be possible. The fact that he doesn 't trust them also portrays him as skeptical. He 's not convinced that the travelers are
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