A Long Way Gone

what were other topics discussed in chapter 9?

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Here is an analysis of Ch 9. You may put them into bullet points if you like:

Beah notices that the natural beauty of the ocean can give succor to the weary, frightened boys: “My eyes widened, a smile forming on my face. Even in the middle of the madness there remained that true and natural beauty, and it took my mind away from my current situation as I marveled at this sight” (p. 59). The boys’ chasing one another and playing soccer serves as a reminder that these are in fact children who have been exposed to the horrors of civil war. This poignant moment of play provides stark contrast to the terrors of previous chapters.

The cruelty of the fisherman reveals how far the terrorism of the RUF has spread; the boys, who are staying together for safety and emotional security, are rumored to be rebels and treated as hostile by nearly everyone they meet. Even on the sea shore, further than any of the boys have traveled, the fear of civil unrest makes the boys outcasts before they even meet anyone face to face.

In contrast, the lone fisherman shows them hospitality and kindness. Beah notes that he was ready to leave his hut to avoid them until he saw their wounds. The fisherman is moved to compassion for the boys and helps them to recover. He asks nothing in return, only asking that they do not learn his name. The boys return his kindness in the only way available - by not identifying him as an accomplice to their recuperation.

The difference between the reactions of the single man and the village provide the reader with insight into the character of the people of Sierra Leone. Taken on a case by case basis, the people are generous, kind-hearted, and sympathetic; however, when operating in a group mindset, with the safety of their entire village at stake, they become defensive, fearful, and - because of these two attitudes - sometimes cruel.