The Civil War in Sierra Leone in 1991 in the Novel A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

The novel A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, is basically a description of the civil war in Sierra Leone, occurring in 1991. The twist is that the author (Beah) was 12 years old when he was officially “touched by the war”(6) in 1993, being forced to give up his childhood in order to survive the war. Until Beah gets into the army, fighting against the ‘Rebels’, his life seems only to get worse. When Beah begins to be rehabilitated in chapter sixteen, his life begins to change.

Chapter fifteen has the biggest impact on Beah, and is the most important and informative chapter in the entire book. During the book, Beah showed me how gruesome and terrible the army and wars can actually be. The reasoning for chapter fifteen has the biggest impact on Beah is what he can vividly remember from the war he joined in. Beah explains hwo when he was a boy in school he was given a product called Nessie, to help him remember lessons.

This product caused Beah to be able to remember everything until this day. Causing Beah to be able to remember every detail of the war, when he killed many of the ‘rebels’. Since he can remember combat so well, this means Beah has a higher risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or major depression. Beah‘s risk would be higher than the average 20% chance of forming PTSD or depression than the other soldiers (or veterans) because he was a child/teenager when Beah was exposed to the war and participated in combat.

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The second reason that chapter 15 impacts Ishmael Beah is because this chapter is when Beah begins to be rehabilitated. Rehab impacted him thoroughly impacted Beah. Mainly because, rehab made him realise that there is more to the world than just suffering, and anger. Not only chapter fifteen is important when it comes to the rehabilitation of Beahs life.

Chapters fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen were very inspiring. Those chapters also included things from his rehabilitation stage. Chapter fifteen was only the beginning of Beahs rehab, Rehab impacts Beah because it turns his life entirely around, pointing Beah in an amazing future. Of course, his rehabilitation stage is rough in the beginning. The importance of chapter fifteen is his life is returning to normal, “In my head my life was [already] normal. Beah couldn’t remember what a normal life for a kid was which is terrible. It was important for Beah to go through rehab to go off of the marijuana, cocaine, and brown brown, so that he could he a normal teenager. Which is very important. Getting himself off of these drugs is better for his health too. Gunpowder can’t be good for the human body system. It is unimaginable what that and cocaine mixed can do the body.

Chapter fifteen is also very important to the novel because Beah can look back in that chapter (part of his life) and remind himself what he shouldn’t do anymore. A Long Way Gone has taught me a few things. The biggest thing the book has taught me, is that the army is a scary place. There’s killing and brutal murders, drugs, and bad people everywhere. TV programs and movies about combat and wartime don’t give you the full extent of whatA Long Way Gone had me visualize. Many times while reading this book I had to put it down because of the vivid illustrations that I saw in my mind when 1 read the gory, descriptive war chapters. 1 was never one to support wars. I respect soldiers for their decision to protect their country. [just cannot understand why soldiers want to go into war when they know what is happening

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The Civil War in Sierra Leone in 1991 in the Novel A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. (2023, May 14). Retrieved from

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