Ishmael Beah

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Assignment # 1: A Long Way Gone Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Ishmael Beah

The story of Ishmael Beah, a survivor of civil war in Sierra Leone, is brutal, challenging, and educational. Although the book presents mature and realistic details about war, the images are by no means gratuitous. Beah wants his readers to understand the atrocities of war so that people might try to stop and prevent the spread of violence in the world.

As you read, prepare to write this reflective essay, due on the first day of class. Since you will need to cite the text in your essay, highlighting or note-taking might help.

Prompt: In a reflective essay, tell how Beah’s memoir validates these two famous quotations below regarding man’s inhumanity to man. (Reflective essays should use first person and include well developed personal thoughts and reactions.) You will write a four-paragraph essay with substantive body paragraphs that specifically cite the text in each support.

Below the quotations is a suggested outline for your paper.

'Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And Man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
– Robert Burns, 1785

"There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man." – Alan Paton, 1985

Body paragraph # 1 (Burns)
• Interpret the quote (you need not duplicate it but identify it by author’s name) • Provide three specific examples from the memoir that validates or illustrates this interpretation of reality

Body paragraph # 2, (Patton)
• Interpret the quote (you need not duplicate it but identify it by author’s name) • Provide three specific examples from the memoir that validates or illustrates this interpretation of reality

Conclusion:
• Select a significant quote...
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