A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Short Essay - Answer Key

Ishmael Beah
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1. What was war like for Ishmael at the beginning of Chapter 1? Chapters 1-3

At the beginning of Chapter 1, Ishmael didn't know much about the war. All he knew was what he heard from refugees who passed through his town and from movies he saw.

2. Why did Ishmael leave home in 1993?

In 1993, Ishmael left home with his brother Junior and friend Talloi. They went to the town of Mattru Jong to participate in a friends' talent show.

3. Why didn't Ishmael's best friend leave home with Ishmael and the others at the beginning of the book?

Ishmael's best friend, Mohamed, didn't go to Mattru Jong. He had to stay home because he and his father were renovating their thatched roof kitchen that day.

4. How was Ishmael, his brother, and their friends introduced to rap music?

Ishmael, his brother, and their friends were introduced to rap music during one of their visits to Mobimbi. This was a place where the foreigners who worked for the same American company as their father did lived. There the boys could swim in a pool and watch color television. One evening they say a music video of young black fellows talking really fast. That was their introduction to that style of music.

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