A Long Way Gone Rhetorical Analysis

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Gunshots ring out in the distance, and the smell of copper taints the air. The air is heavy and the heat is so strong that it feels as though one is carrying the weight of the world. But none of that matters. That scent of blood comes from the bodies that lay lifeless on the ground, killed by the men surrounding it. With a start, one wakes up; it was only a dream, only a dream. However, that was not a mere nightmare for Ishmael Beah. For a majority of his juvenile years, he held the position of a child soldier in Sierra Leone, murdering everyone regardless of who they were. In his autobiography, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Beah retells his memories in vivid detail through the use of various stylistic techniques. One of these many devices use throughout his writing is the flashback. Ishmael Beah utilizes flashbacks tp tell the sorrowful tale of his childhood to reveal to the reader more about Beah’s background, his character, and how his morals had changed. One sample of this use is found on page 45: “My father had a ceremony to bless our new home.” The paragraph goes on to explain how when Beah and his family moved, an elder “stood up and added on to what my father had said: ‘I pray to the gods and ancestors…show more content…
As stated on page 143: “We walked around the village and killed everyone who came out of their huts and homes.” Near the beginning of the memoir, when the first rumors of the war began, Beah could not even imagine attacking someone for no reason. He thought the ways of the rebels were absolutely brutal. But whenever he became a soldier himself, he turned out just like the rebels (and the soldiers): instead of being the victim, he was playing the criminal. His morals of not killing anyone quickly changed when he was made a fighter. Beah went from never wanting to hurt anyone to having the uncontrollable urge to kill anyone who crossed

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