A Long Way Gone

Chapter 1 describes the beginning of the devastation that Ishmael would see. Describe what devastation Ishmael saw and how it impacted the lives of those who it touched.

A Long Way Gone book by Ishmael Beah

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En route to Mogbwemo, the boys stop at Kabati, the village of Beah’s grandmother Mamie Kpana, just as they had on their outbound trip. In contrast to the earlier hospitality they had received by Beah’s grandmother, the deserted village offers nothing but ominous silence. Beah is struck by the sound of crying children looking for their parents and babies wailing for food; he also sees adults bleeding, vomiting and reacting with hysteria to the catastrophe that has befallen them. As the boys debate the wisdom of returning to the site of the rebel attack, they see a mother carrying her dead baby on her back. She stops to take the baby in her arms - bullets are visible in the infant’s body - and cradles it, too shocked to shed tears for her dead child. This incident forces the boys to resolve that Mogbwemo is no longer livable and so they decide to return to Mattru Jong.