A Long Way Gone Essay
The concepts of faith and hope shift throughout this memoir. Chapter 7 begins with the
story of Imam’s death, followed by Ishmael’s recollections of his father and an elder blessing
their home when they first moved to Mogbwemo. Ishmael is also sustained emotionally and
spiritually throughout this memoir.
Ishmael looks back on a time earlier in his life when his father blessed their home in
Mogbwemo. This blessing consisted of a prayer that the family would always stay together. With
this memory, Ismael begins to cry for his family and friends. Ismael is able to comfort himself
with memories of his earlier life. His father said, “If you are alive, there is hope for a better day
and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she
will die.” (Beah, 54) This is enough to push Ishmael forward and towards another day even when
he didn’t know where he was going.
Hope is all that Ishmael and the other children have. The hope that they might be fed, not to be
shot, and hopefully things will get better. After losing his family and joy, Ishmael finds a purpose
in as a soldier in a government camp. Although he is fed and given a sense of importance,
Ishmael still feels dead, or in other words, his soul. Ishmael remembers his...