A Long Way Gone

Why does Ishmael believe the man who Leslie says is his uncle, really is his uncle?

A Long Way Gone

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Beah’s fortunes take a turn toward improving greatly in this chapter. Beah notes his own reluctance to believe circumstances can improve (the unlikely possibility of Leslie finding his uncle) and his deeply-ingrained distrust of others (telling Tommy “I don’t really know you”). Again persistence triumphs as Uncle Tommy keeps his word and visits Beah every week. Like Esther, Uncle Tommy does not push Beah to tell him about his experiences and continues to overwhelm the boy with affection and love. On one of Beah’s walks with Uncle Tommy, he has the opportunity to connect with the older man in a way he had previously wished to connect with Esther: by bringing up one of his father’s few accounts of his childhood with Beah’s uncle, the boy is able to draw the older man out and discuss a shared history. Although his own childhood is still a tender subject, Beah is able to enjoy his uncle’s memory of a childhood that took place a generation ago. This also helps Beah to feel a connection to his missing family.