A Long Way Gone

What is the importance of the story about the monkey?

Ishmael overhears a mother telling her children a story he heard when he was little about a monkey and a hunter. It involves themes present throughout the book such as family and storytelling but also sacrifice. What is the message and how does it reverberate throughout the entire book?

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Last updated by Aslan
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It was meant as a fable with a seemingly unanswerable question. Shoot the monkey and mother dies, spare the monkey and father dies. The answer of course has to do with compassion for others and sacrificing one's own love for a greater good. Beah chooses to shoot the monkey so the monkey can't do this to anybody else.