A Long Way Gone

A Long Way Gone

When Beal is remembering his family members, in what context does his memory occur? What exacly does he remember about his parentsand reletives?

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Beah calls up happier moments in order to get through another day. Memories of his family - especially those of times before his parents divorced - allow him to keep a glimmer of hope alive in the darkness. His memories of his grandfather help in a more direct way; Beah uses legends and advice from his childhood while alone in the forest. Memory is an aid. When he becomes a soldier, however, Beah no longer indulges in memories of his childhood. After he kills his first man, the memories become a burden as he believes his life will never be the same. When he is rescued by UNICEF, he still resists remembering his family because he is afraid he will have to first reexamine his war years in order to access memories from before. But, Beah uses flashbacks later in the book as he allows his memories to return while he is in rehabilitation. For Beah, memory is the key to survival at the start of the war, then blotted out as a coping mechanism when he is forced to do inhuman things, and a signifier of healing later on.