Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Matthew Rimmer, Journal #6: A Long Way Gone Reflection

  1.     . I would have to say that the character that meant the most to me other than Ishmael would honestly be Esther. I view her as being the driving force behind Ishmael’s change of life. Unlike the other staff Esther took the time to reach out to Ishmael. Despite the many times he disregarded her she still always tried to reach out to him. The biggest reason I view Esther as the second most important character is because of when Ishmael told her about his experiences in the war. He had hoped that telling her would finally drive her away, but instead it only caused her to care more. 
  2.     . I view Ishmael’s rehabilitation as being successful. The reason I view his rehabilitation as being successful is because no matter what obstacle had presented itself to him he always rose to overcome it. When he first arrived at the Benin Home he hated everything about being there. He would always create trouble along with violence and treat the other people like they were below him. But with the help of his friends and eventually Esther he changed for the better.  He at first longed to go back to the battlefield but when the war reached Freetown he told himself he couldn’t go back to that life. So as a result to all of this I strongly believe rehabilitation is possible. To be honest I would be indifferent if Ishmael would move into my neighborhood. This is because it’s not like I set aside the time to ask myself if I do/don’t want someone moving into my neighborhood, besides it would be out of my control anyways. So why stress over it? But, if I had to choose I wouldn’t mind him moving into my neighborhood. This is because due to reading his book I know to some extent about him as a person and about his life. However, I personally think the better question to ask is, "Would you accept him moving into your neighborhood?”
  3.     . There are many lessons that can be taken from this book. However, the main lesson that I learned from this book is that no matter how dark a person’s past is there will always be a brighter light in their future if they choose to see and seek it. “We can be rehabilitated” (169). The one thing that I want to remember the most about this book is the fact that Ishmael Beah didn’t like to be told that the things that happened to him were not his fault. The reason I want to remember this the most is because to me it seemed like Beah didn’t want people to just look at him and be like oh it’s okay. I feel that even though Beah kept to himself at first he wanted people to know of the things that he did and that he wanted people to understand that he is his own person but not just another child soldier that is troubled. 
  4.     . The one thing that I want to know more about is Laura. Beah told us that she became his mother later on and how it came to be but I want to know more about her as a person. I found that Laura Simms is an award-winning storyteller, recording artist, teacher, writer, and humanitarian based in New York City.  Her work has bestowed honor and recognition since 1968. Currently she is the artistic director of the iconic storytelling program in Central Park: The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center. She continues to perform and teach internationally. (Here is the link that I found if you want to know more about her and her work, 
Laura Simms, Ishmael Beah's adoptive mother.


  1. I think it is fascinating to see that Laura was mentioned a couple of time in the last couple of chapters and still is one of the most important person to Ishmael. I really enjoyed knowing more about her. To me, Laura is a hero (:

  2. Its great that we now know more about his mom. I was also wondering about who she was.

  3. That just goes to show what kind of person Laura is. I like it definitely a person we should aspire to be like


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