looking for specific passages that may hint to it
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I don't know if this is ever really appraoched in the novel...... that Ishmael's parents taught him about being a man. His parents are divorced, and their children are split between them. Ishmael's family dies when he's very young. The closest thing I can come to for an answer for this question would be the following quote, found on page 54 of the novel;
“If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die”
Ismael also says that he had never seen his father cry, and because of this he sees crying as something a man never does...... that is until he sses the tears of his Uncle. Seeing his Uncle cry helps him to understand that being a man sometimes requires tears....... and that everyone is allowed.
A Long Way Gone