A Long Way Gone

How do concepts of faith and hope shift throughout this memoir?

Chapter seven begins with the story of imam's death, followed by Ishamael's recollections of his father and an elder blessing their home when they first moved to Mogbwemo.

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Hope comes in the starkest terms for Beah during his ordeal. When on the run from the RUF, Beah is able to comfort himself with memories of his earlier life. His father's saying, "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" is enough to push him towards another day. (p. 54) Being alive one more day is proof that all is not yet lost.

When he is a soldier, however, Beah forfeits a connection to his life. Hope dims in the haze of drugs and violence. Beah gives up any dream of a future beyond simply surviving. However, his father's adage rings true once rehabilitation begins. After speaking at the UN, Beah's hope is rekindled. He meets many children like him and sees that his experiences can have an impact on the world. For once, he realizes that someone will care if he lives or dies. Far away from the civil war, Beah's life has meaning again. In New York, also meets storyteller Laura Simms who offers him a lifeline out of Sierra Leone - which he eventually takes.