A Long Way Gone Chapters 5-7 Response
I would have thought that a war would bring people together and make them protect each other. However, this is obviously not the case. I was shocked that people just didn’t trust one another. Some even tried to hurt Ishmael and his friends because they did not trust them not to harm their families. Because of the distrust, the group of boys had to bypass almost every village that they came by so they would be safe and not cause chaos. The boys are especially distrusted because of their age and numbers. They are just the right age to be soldiers and in a group of six which is intimidating to villagers. However, I think that sometimes, being in a large group came to the boys’ advantage. They had better chances of escaping trouble and finding food.
I was intrigued by the scare-tactics that the rebels used. They made it look like they killed an old man. However, they really just shot next to him to scare the old man and the other villagers. I don’t fully understand why they did this, but my best guess would be that they wanted more control over the villagers. If the villagers were afraid of the rebels, they would be more likely to follow the rebels’ orders.
A passage that stood out to me was “One evening we actually chased a little boy who was eating two boiled ears of corn by himself…we rushed the boy at the same time…The boy’s parents didn’t confront us about the incident” (chapter 5 page 30). It made me understand that even though people in this war definitely don’t like to share their food, some understand that these times are desperate. The parents of the boy understand that Ishmael and his friends are desperate for food, so they do not confront them about stealing their son’s food. Instead, they give them even more corn and send them on their way.