FLASHBACKS: Ishmael discussing a story from his past
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Ishmael Beah refers to memories throughout A Long Way Gone, relayed as flashbacks. In difficult times, he clings to moments from happier years - especially those occurring before his parents' divorce. By focussing on such memories as stories his grandmother told him, his grandfather's medicines, and the blessing of his childhood home, Beah is able to find solace in madness. If he remembers a time when he was happy, there is hope that he can regain that life. He sometimes feels these memories are a burden, reminding him as they do of a time when his life was much better than his current circumstances. Still, he returns to memories of his family as a sign he has recuperated from his life of violence.