A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah Character Analysis

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Good people can do bad things

Do you ever wonder why good people end up doing the bad things in life. Ishmael Beah’s life is a perfect example of how and why he was lead to do such bad things throughout his life. In A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah, the theme of “good people can be convinced to do horrible things” is very evident throughout the story. Good people may end up doing things in their life growing up they thought they would never do. Ishmael Beah was forced to kill, show no regard to human life, and take drugs. To begin with, Ishmael Beah killed many people throughout his life in war. Ishmael did horrible things to be able to survive. He slit people 's throats while they were alive, shot people without
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The more he excelled in the army the more he showed no regard to human life. His life at a young age has been filtered with immense horror. When he would kill people it was as if it didn 't matter one bit. He learned how not to have a feeling of regret or hurtfulness when hurting or disrespecting others by listening to his commander and taking drugs which altered his views on things. Ishmael says “My squad was my family, my gun was my provider and protector and my rule was to kill or be killed” (126). In other words Ishmael was mentioning that his main focus was to survive and kill and that 's it. As well as having no care for anything besides the things he grew up learning about in the military. Which was to take care of his family(soldiers), kill rebels and do drugs. Also Ishmael Beah gave no care or regard to human life because he thought he was a big intimidation to those around him like civilians and rebels. Ishmael trying to gain that intimidation caused him to hurt and kill people and the more he did that the more he cared less to human life. In a way he was dehumanized, the things he witness were so graphic and hard to take in at times. Furthermore Ishmael Beah shows how a person who is good can get brainwashed into not caring about others and life. Ishmael Beah shows his careless emotions and actions toward life while being in war. Those actions are slitting throats, torture, taking drugs and killing. …show more content…
The first reason why he started to take drugs was to take his mind off of all the horrible things in his life. Drugs became a huge part of who he was. It helped him cope with his anger towards the rebels and the fact his parents weren 't with him. The drugs he took helped him with energy to perform his duties given to him by his commander. Secondly Ishmael says “ We were always either at the frontlines, watching a war movie, or doing drugs”(124). Him saying this was proving how his life consists of taking drugs and that it was a big thing in his life. Additionally it shows how drugs were what he spent a majority of his time doing. Ishmael Beah stated that it was either him on the frontlines or him doing drugs like “brown brown” or marijuana. Thirdly Ishmael Beah, took drugs because in the army his commander would give him drugs so he can brainwash him. Giving him drugs brainwashed him into making him keep coming back to his commander and following orders. Ishemal taking those durgs made him feel as if he had a type of duty that needed to be done like sticking with his army and doing everything his commander said. In a way it kept him loyal to his army. The drugs brainwashed him into following orders like stealing food, killing people, and to go and get drugs. The drugs helped make it feel like the things that he was doing were not as bad as they truly were. Ishmael taking drugs was a big part of him at the time he

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