A Long Way Gone

A long way gone

How does Ishmael describe and feel about his gun? Don't have chapter number for my questions !!

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I had my gun now, and as the corporal always said, "This gun is your source of power in these times. It will protect you and provide you all you need, if you know how to use it well."

Ishmael Beah, p. 124

Corporal Gadafi's mentality is demonstrated by this statement, which the corporal transmits to the soldiers under his command. In the violent times of the Sierra Leone civil war, weapons are power; Beah learns to focus his sense of security and strength in his G3 rifle for most of his military career. Later in the memoir, when his weapon is taken from him, he panics and feels at a loss without the tool of violence which has come to define him.

This emphasis on the power of the object is central to the soldiers' ability to cope with the chaos of the civil war. In a world where lives may be lost seemingly at random, and death may come from almost any direction, the only power any soldier has to control the world around him resides in his gun. Like so many other soldiers, Beah must accept this reality in order to survive and remain relatively sane in the violent nightmare landscape of constant ambushes, raids, and sudden deaths.