Essay about A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

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Hope enables people to move on by providing the thought that maybe tomorrow’s events will be better than today’s. Hope is a theme that remains constant in every part of A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. Ishmael begins the novel optimistic, believing he will find his family again. This optimism is later lost when Ishmael is recruited by the army to fight against the rebels, causing him to become addicted to drugs and the thrill of killing. Three years after his recruitment, Ishmael is rescued by UNICEF-a group dedicated to rehabilitating child soldiers. During his rehabilitation, Ishmael discovers hope once more by relearning how to trust, love, and have the will to survive. The presence of hope throughout A Long Way Gone enables Ishmael to …show more content…
The more people Ishmael loses, the less he has to fight for- the less he has to hope for. Upon finding his family’s ashes, Ishmael is enraged- not hopeless. Ishmael’s hope is alive, but shrinking as Gasemu indicates when he says, “Your forehead used to glow naturally when you were just a child … We thought it was because you were happy all the time. Your mother said you even smiled when you slept. But when you started your troublesomeness and were angry, your forehead glowed even more…And here you are, it isn’t shining anymore,” (Beah 92). Ishmael’s forehead did not glow because he was mad or sad or embarrassed or happy. Ishmael’s forehead glowed because he was passionate and hopeful. The angrier he got when he was younger, the more his forehead glowed seeing as he believed in his anger. Despite the fact that his hope shrank when he was faced with the death of his family, the threat of the rebels, and the fear of dying, these events did not destroy Ishmael’s hope- Ismael’s hope begins its descent to nothingness when he becomes a child soldier and, consequently, a drug addict. When Ishmael no longer mourns the death of human life, his hope is lost. When Ishmael cannot care less if he lives or dies, his hope is lost. When he would rather continue killing as

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