A Long Way Gone

Why is the "Coconut Tree" story included? what does this story show about Ishmael? What is the larger statement being made from this story being included?


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Ishmael can't climb coconut trees yet when his famished and thirsty, he automatically climbs one like a monkey. Once rested and refreshed, Ishmael tries to climb the tree again. This time he cannot. Ishmael laughs at himself He marvels at the things he can do in times of desperation are the same things that he cannot do when not desperate. The resilience of the human body and mind are a wonder to behold. Beah is surprised what he can do when he has no choice. This becomes a motif throughout the novel.