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A long way gone (un long chemin parti) de Ishmael Beah.

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Par   •  7 Décembre 2013  •  689 Mots (3 Pages)  •  551 Vues

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A long way gone: The contrast with our lives in America

In the book A Long Way Gone Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah talks about his experience as a child soldier in his country Sierra Leone. He was already making conferences around the world about his experience before writing his book, but he found that it wasn’t enough because people didn’t seem to really understand what he tried to say to them and that’s why he wrote a book. With this medium, he can do more descriptions, since a book is much longer than a conference and uses techniques such as metaphors and figurative language to make people understand the issue. By writing the book, his goal is to make people understand that war isn’t ‘’Cool’’ and to make them understand how children are recruited by the army. He was really shocked when he learned that here in America, we didn’t even know about wars in Sierra Leone and that’s the kind of things we should know since it is very horrible. In other words, he did an anti-war work to educate us and to achieve it he uses lots of literary techniques, but I will talk more precisely about his use of contrast.

Ishmael Beah uses different kinds of contrast in his book. The first kind of contrast he uses is that he divides his book in three significant parts. At the beginning, we can read about his life before the war, then we can read about his life while he is a child soldier and at the end, we can read about his life after the war. I think that this is an important technique in the story since we can see the evolution of the character during this period of his life that changes him and his perception of the world forever. Since he talks about these three parts of his life, we have

enough details to really see how his mind changes and also how his happy life has quickly disappeared, giving way to a traumatic life filled with suffering. I think that if his book was only about his life after the war, it would have less impact on the readers. Since he talks about the time where he was happy and peaceful, he creates a kind of link that ensures that readers are attached to him and when something happens to him, it affects us more. Also, if his book was only about the time after the war, it would have been less effective, since we could not see his psychological development and we would have been less attached to him, so we would have been less affected and saddened by what is happening to young soldiers.

Beah also uses smaller contrasts in his book. In my previous example, we see that it is a general contrast in the book, but he also uses contrast in his sentences. For example, in the first chapter, when he starts to describe the war and the mood in his country, he also says: ‘’the sun peacefully sailed…’’ (10). It is a contrast because he talks about the dead bodies on the ground and he describes all what he is seeing and it is a bad mood in that part of the book and suddenly he says the word peacefully when he is talking about the sun. This contrast draws the attention of readers since there is a change of mood in his sentences.

To conclude, there are a lot of types of contrasts in Beah’s book and they are all effective. They draw reader’s attention because we can feel a change of the mood in the story or in sentences. Moreover, the contrast between the three major parts of Beah’s life


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