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A Long Way Gone

By | December 2012
Page 1 of 2
Honors English 1

The Risks for Survival
In the novel, A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah, the author discusses the topic of survival. The book tells a story of a boy whose life is affected by war and forced to survive on his own. Beah is trying to send us a message that people often do crazy things in order to survive. The excerpts I provide prove this statement to be true.

Sometimes, there are situations where people are starving and in great need of food and resources. “One evening we actually chased a little boy who was eating two ears of boiled corn by himself” (30). Ishmael and his friends have nothing so when they have the chance to steal food they take it, even if it’s from a small child. Ishmael does not want to do these things but the situation he’s in forces him to do so. Ishmael feels bad after he takes the food but he realizes that he cannot feel sorry for others during the war. Also, Ishmael and his friends are forced to steal because the vendors are no longer selling food because the fear that the rebels will come and take everything they have. This shows that people will do what they need to do just to survive.

People sometimes have to deal with violence and being separated with the ones they love. “To survive each passing day was my goal in life” (69). In this passage Ishmael is very sad and depressed by the way his life is going. He was never disappointed because he always expected the worst to happen. Ishmael is also tired of living in fear. He’s tired of running away and losing the people he loves. This proves that people will sometimes expect the worst to happen so the don’t get their hopes up.

Sometimes people make sacrifices to survive. “I couldn’t stay home. I had to find food” (204). In this passage Ishmael is looking for food all over the city of Freetown. When he eventually does find food the rebels start to chase him and the rest of the crowd. Ishmael has a lot of pressure placed on him because if he does not get food he...

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