A Long Way Gone Chapters 8-9 Response
I was impressed that Ishmael was able to use his environment to his advantage so well. He finds so many ways to make the best out of his situation. In particular, I was impressed when he picks out the perfect tree with woven branches in which to sleep. Ishmael was smart to choose a sleeping area high above the ground because he was safe from wild pigs and other animals. It is also impressive when Ishmael picks out what plants he can use as a substitute for soap and which ones he can use to rid poison from the body.
The author uses so much in-depth detail that I see EVERYTHING happening in my head. Sometimes I even get emotional from what I read in this book. For example, when the author writes about walking through villages that were left in ruins by the rebels, I can see the huts burning to the ground, the fear in the victim’s dead eyes, and the blood-filled rivers. I felt sympathy for the old man who was left behind when his village fled from the seven boys. It was saddening that nobody would help him escape.
A passage that stood out to me was “We searched one another’s faces for an explanation for the strange sound…without sating anything to us, Kanei crawled out of the bushes…It was the Atlantic Ocean” (chapter 9 pg. 58-59). I was taken aback by this passage. I was surprised that the boys didn’t even know what the beach is. I guess I thought they would know something like that, but instead they were hiding from the sound made by the waves crashing on the shore. It made me think that maybe because they are not as privileged, they have never been to the ocean before, so it is understandable that they were afraid of the loud sound it made. However, I think that it is very unfortunate that their first time seeing a beach was when they were running from a war.