A Long Way Gone

1053 words 5 pages
A Long Way Gone
Ishmael Beah was an innocent boy who enjoyed playing football, swimming in the streams, and even started a rap and dance group with his friends and older brother. The group discovered their love for rap music from old cassette tapes of O.P.P, Run D.M.C, and the Sugarhill Gang. Ishmael and Junior, along with their other friends cherished these few hip hop and rap cassette tapes. Ishmael constantly carried these couple tapes on him at all times. They choreographed dance routines and memorized all of the lyrics. The boys also entered a talent show in a close town. Ishmael, Junior, Talloi, and Mohamed have been singing and dancing to rap music since they first formed the group when Ishmael was only eight years old. They
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The other boys tried to cheer Ishmael up by playing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and singing him the lyrics “don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be all right” (Lisa). Ishmael’s first breakthrough in rehabilitation at the Benin House was when his nurse, Esther, buys him rap cassette tapes and a cassette player. He was upset about it at first, but once the music hit his ears, Ishmael started opening up talking about his past for the first time to Esther. He talked about when he was shot in the foot during battle and needed the bullets surgically removed without anesthesia. He explains how he was given cocaine after fainting from the pain and how he also had to kill the men who shot him. Esther was crying sympathetically and comforts him (Nussbaum). Every time that Esther uses music in Ishmael’s therapy, he is able to talk about his memories. Eventually, he starts looking forwarded to his therapy sessions with Esther. She encourages him to start writing music again and gives him a notepad. Ishmael does not trust anyone, because he is used to relying on himself to survive. This lack of trust in anyone is due to Ishmael being betrayed by the only person that he did trust, the lieutenant. When Esther tries to gain a friendship with Ishmael, he avoided it at first. Every time he thinks about memories of his childhood, he gets a headache from the war flashbacks. The only thing that seemed to help him gain a


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