A Long Way Gone

What were other topics discussed in chapter 10?

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As with Chapter 9, this chapter mixes pleasure and pain for the boys. Beah narrates events which, while positive in the remembering, bring with them emotional pain at the longing they produce. Musa’s story distracts the boys for a time, and even sends Beah into reverie about his grandmother, but the fact that these pleasant circumstances are memory and not reality is not lost on the boys.

The village they encounter is also a mixture of joy and despair. The villagers welcome the boys, and Beah receives hopeful news about his family. However, they lose Saidu in that village, which is yet another testament to the fact that any happiness they experience must be short-lived. Beah’s reaction to the villager’s hospitality - reminding them that their friend will always be buried here and therefore they have a place to return to - shows how the boys’ harsh circumstances have hardened them to emotional happiness. He knows they have become survivors, not merely wanderers, and so will act first for self-preservation even above the comforts of friends and family.