A Long Way Gone Flashback Analysis

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In A Long Way Gone, a memoir written by Ishmael Beah, flashbacks are used throughout the novel. A flashback can be defined as a transition in a story to an earlier time, that interrupts the normal chronological order of events (Vocabulary). Throughout the novel, flashbacks were utilized to help the reader envision the difference between life before the war and how it changed overtime. Ishmael evolved from being an average child in Sierra Leone to a child soldier fighting in the civil war, making flashbacks a key component to his story. In chapter 1, while in Mattru Jong with his brother and friends, Ishmael reminisces about the time his grandmother told him why people should be like the moon, after overhearing an elderly man say "We must strive…show more content…
On page 69, the author describes how he felt while on the run. "One of the unsettling things about my journey mentally, physically, and emotionally, was that I wasn't sure when or where it was going to end." In that quote, the author is referring to the war. He was practically living with other adolescent boys trying to survive on their own as well. He didn't have anybody to talk to freely. Once he got recruited by the general to be a soldier, his trust was thin with everyone. He believed with the other soldiers, generals, and lieutenant said because they made it seemed to know what they were talking about was the truth. They hacked into his mind and erased what he knew was right. The author paints this picture in the reader's mind be vividly describing his experience through everything during the war and how it challenged him. While at the rehabilitation center, he had horrible nightmares about the war and strong migraines if he tried to think of anything that happened before the war. This made it harder for Ishmael to open up with up to people. Once he moved moved in with uncle, the reader sees Ishmael taking a huge step on his recovery path. He struggled with trusting people until he met Laura Simms in New York. She took him in as he ran away from the war again in the last few chapters of the book. In chapter 2, Ishmael still experiences nightmares even in New York after fleeing from Sierra Leone. He describes his dream as a scene when he was a child soldier killing innocent people. He pictures one dead body that he is trying to bury in particular to be him once he lifts the sheet and sees his face. The author is haunted by his past, but he also sees his good memories as a motivation to recover

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