A Long Way Gone Chapters 3-4 Response
I was very interested by the way the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) carved their initials on the messengers’ bodies. I also found it interesting that they chopped off all of their fingers except the thumbs to represent a reggae symbol meaning “one love”. I think it was smart for the RUF to carve their initials on the bodies of the messengers because if one of them escaped, they were marked for death. Any man with the initials RUF on his body was shot on sight without question. Other people were afraid that he was a rebel. I don’t really understand why the RUF’s chose the symbol “one love”. Maybe they just liked the discomfort it caused their prisoners. Maybe it had a meaning deeper than that.
It was disappointing when the boys went through a lot of trouble to get money from Ishmael’s house only to end up not being able to use it. The boys were crawling through dead bodies and hiding from rebels to get that money. They even lost one of their group members to the rebels. However, when they got to the village to buy some food, nobody wanted to sell them any because they all wanted to save food. I thought it was sad that they went through so much trouble and even a lost life to receive nothing. It was also sad that the author said that this predicament was “a typical aspect of being in the war”.
One passage that really stood out to me was “We would have been less hungry if we had stayed at the village instead of walking the miles to Mattru Jong…there was no one to be blamed. We made a logical decision and it came to this. It was a typical aspect of being in the war” (Chapter 4 pg. 29). I was hoping that the boys would have something to eat after their efforts, but they only ended up hungrier. This passage makes me think that it doesn’t matter what you have or how much you have during war. It’s all a matter of staying alive; even if it means taking a few losses. It also makes me think that the boys will end up having to steal food in order to have anything to eat because nobody wants to give their food away-not even for money.