The theme of A Long Way Gone is though the atrocities of war are tragic; never give up since there is always hope at the end of everything. Beah uses literary devices to further present the theme. The use symbolism, personification, and metaphors help exhibit the theme to the reader.
Firstly, the use of symbolism is apparent when connecting the theme to the reader. Beah uses symbolism through the story. The cassette that Ismael carries throughout his journey is a symbol for what life was before war. Carrying this foreign music also represents Ishmael’s connections with our world. It can be used to remind us of Ishmael’s childhood and the life he had before. Lastly it symbolizes Ishmael’s long journey away from his village. Through the attack of the rebels, surviving alone in the forests, Ishmael has unbelievably kept the cassette to his side. This shows that even through the atrocities he still had hope. Music was an outlet for Ishmael which he never let slip away.
Secondly, Beah uses personification to help support the theme immensely. This is present when Ishmael’s grandmother uses the common phrase “we must strive to be like the moon” (p.16). This relates to the theme of never giving up since there is hope at the end of everything because it encourages Ishmael to strive for a better life.
Lastly, the use of metaphors is evident throughout A Long Way Gone and also clearly communicates the theme to the reader.
Literary Devices: Relate to Theme
Simile/Personification: Ishmael’s grandmother used this as a common phrase “we must strive to be like the moon” (p.16). This relates to the theme of never giving up since there is hope at the end of everything because it encourages Ishmael to never give up and strive to achieve anything.
Imagery- An example of Imagery is from Chapter 8 when Ishmael is in the forest, " On the third day I found myself in the middle of a thick forest, standing beneath huge trees whose...