Monday, November 18, 2013

Fishbowl #3: A Long Way Gone, Chapters 7-10

A few reminders if you're looking for an A for the day:

(A) Bring at least one quotation and/or page reference into at least one of your responses.
(B) Explain your thinking thoughtfully and thoroughly (try to avoid the one-sentence response).

(C) Keep it professional, including the usage of proper grammar and spelling.

(D) Comment frequently from the beginning of the conversation to the end.


Remember also that you're welcome to get into a hotseat in the inner circle for a little while and earn some of your daily participation points there.


Enjoy!

103 comments:

  1. If you were Ishmael, would you go with the boys or continue to live on your own?
    Take this question as if you were a survivor, NOT as if you were in Ishmael's shoes. Take your life and who you are and where you are in life right now and decide, what would you do?

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    1. I would try and stay with the ones I love because if you die you are going to want to die with the people that make you happy

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    2. I would go by myself because then I am the only one I need to worry about and it would make surviving a little bit easier.

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    3. I would go with the boys I think it would make you feel safer and you could rely on each other and help each other to keep going.

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    4. Honestly if I were in this position I probably would of continued on my own. It sounds harsh but you also have to think of yourself.. As much as I love my friends its survival of the fittest you have to fight to survive.

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    5. The way I see it if you had people coming after any and all people then you would try to hind and get away from the rebels. I personally would get out of the place that has the trouble and then leave from that place.

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  2. On page 45 he says "I had no time to go look for him, since the attack was sudden, but instead had to run into the bush alone. That night I slept by myself, leaning on a tree. How do you think Beah felt knowing that something could of happened to Junior, he could of been captured or killed? How was he able to sleep without worrying?

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    1. I think at the time he is more worried about himself instead of his friends.

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    2. I think in his mind he sees Junior as someone that can take care of himself and he has faith that he'll find him later on.

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    3. I think that it probably devastated him to know someone awful could of happened to him, but on some level he knew there is nothing he can do to save him. At this point in the civil war I dont think much people get sleep knowing the rebels are out there and could attack you at any point.

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  3. Ishmael talks about it several times, but on page 49, he writes, "I walked for two days without sleeping. I only stopped at streams to drink water. I felt as if somebody was after me. Everything felt awkwardly brutal." Do you believe Ishmael was slowly turning psychotic? That awkward feeling of being alone constantly and having no human to talk to, do you think it's affecting his normal thoughts and actions?

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    1. I think so, but you also have to add in that he is being chased by rebels so when you have that going against you and he is seeing people get killed it would have a huge toll on you and your mind. So yeah, he is going a bit psychotic because he has no one he can trust now and he is also sleep deprived.

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    2. I believe that Ishmael could have been going a little crazy, but he was scared and did not want to get caught. Being alone is affecting his emotions, especially because he is scared.

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  4. I would stay in the village and do what is best to stay alive and get rest.

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  5. Chapter seven begins with the story of the boy’s death, and also Ishmael reflects on his father. (pg. 44-46) How do faith and hope shift throughout this memoir?

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  6. On page 76 it talks about the tribe celebrating. Why do you think they are celebrating? Is it to forget about everything that is going on?

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    1. In some ways it's to forget, but in some ways it's to remember. They could be celebrating the fact that they haven't been attacked yet and are grateful for the fact that they've been left alone.

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    2. I agree with Sarah. They are celebrating life and finding their happiness that is buried in their hearts. They are all going through loss and sadness and finding that happiness deep inside is what makes these celebrations so special.

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  7. I feel that Ishmael left on his own because he felt that he could survive better when it was just him. Nobody was weighing him down.

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  8. On page 67 '"When the cassette player was brought, the chief put the cassette in and pressed "play."'Why does Ishmael carry the cassette around with him (beside why he loves rape music) ?

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  9. Does the tree that Ishmael make his new home give him a sense of security?

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  10. on page 45 "We looked in the thick forest for Junior and our friends". Do you think that he will find Junior ever again? Will they leave him there, or go back later on and look for him?

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    1. Well, on page 43, Ishmael says "It was during that attack in the village of Kamator that my friends and I seperated. It was the last time I saw Junior, my older brother."
      So he might go look for him and be hopeful in finding him, but no he won't see him ever again.

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    2. I think later on in the book they will find each other again. I think that they will go back to look for him

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    3. I don't think he will ever see Junior again because on page 43, Ishmael says, "It was the last time I saw Junior, my older brother." I think the only way how Ishmael will see Junior are in his memories.

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  11. I think ishmael is scared and tired of living in fear all the time. He is constantly walking along, finding new and abandoned villages, and surviving as best as he can. what do you think is motivating him to keep going

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  12. When Ishmael and the boys find the kind man who helps them, do you think they wish they could have stayed longer? I mean, it's an obvious yes, but I mean it in more a deep way, like do you think they got that feeling in their chests you get when you leave someone alone, or both go your separate ways? Why do you think so if yes, since they only knew this man for three days?

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  13. Chapter eight talks about the villagers running away from Ishmael and his friends because they believed the rumors being spread about them that they were rebels. Does this show anything about our take in stereotypes and assumptions?

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    1. Yes because everyone is assuming that they are boy soldiers. The villagers have heard of the rebels creating boy soldiers to attack villages and they are unsure what to believe so that makes them trust no one, especially younger boys. I think that if Ishmael and the group of boys make it clear that they are just running away from the war and trying to find their families, then the villagers will accept them and help them.

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  14. On page 69 Ishmael says " To survive each day was my goal in life... So I couldn't completely bring myself to be completely happy." What did Ishmael feel at this point in the book? Did he feel like giving up or did he have a better goal in mind?

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    1. I don't think he thought of giving up because he is still just a child. I believe he is just scared and doesn't know what to do.

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    2. Ishmael had a motive to survive and get through this war. He is not worried about being happy at the moment but once he survives this he can finally find peace and happiness in his life.

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    3. I think he just had that feeling like, "well I've already gotten this far. I can't get any worse than how I feel."
      There are two options when you think this thought. You could think, 'why continue' or 'why give up'. Both work and both prove a valid point. Depending on the person, everyone will pick something else. Ishmael picked 'why give up'.

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  15. "One afternoon, while searching for food in a deserted village, a large crow fell out of the sky." (pg.80) Is this foreshadowing and/or a symbol?

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    1. I think it is more of a symbol of hope, even though one boy thinks it is a bad omen

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    2. I think that it is a symbol. Crows usually mean death. So maybe someone close to Ishmael will die or something like that.

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  16. On page 51, Ishmael explains,"I have an excellent photographic memory that enables me to remember details of the day-to-day moments of my life, indelibly." Does he wish that he can forget a lot of the bad things that happened in his past? Or does it make him the man he is today?

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    1. It does make him the man he is, but remembering every single detail would be more than horror, it'd be a sense of torture.

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    2. I personally believe that it is a little bit of both. Since this civil was has broke out Ishmael has scene horrible things happen to innocent people, bullet holes all over their bodies, some burned to death things I wouldn't want to remember. But on the other hand I think these memories make him who he is. If he wouldn't have scene these things he wouldn't be the person he is now. He wouldn't have to be scared to live in the country he grew up in.

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    3. Ishmael wanted to write this book. The fact that he decides to write this book in just recently in 2007 he wanted the world to know about his view on war. When he writes this book he wants to get the memoirs out so he could move on with this event. It is like when people came back from the Vietnam War some people are in shock in what they saw so, if they talk about it then their mind is more at ease.

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  17. Why do the rebels only recruit children instead of adults.

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    1. Because children are probably easier to control and to convince to fight. And no one suspects a child army.

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    2. Because no one really wants to fight children and also most people wouldn't expect children to be the enemy.

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    3. Children are more vulnerable, innocent, and gullible. If you were a child and a grown man threatens to kill you and tell you to do something for him chances are you would do it. If you were a grown man, you might could fight back or stand up for yourself.

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    4. The military wouldn't kill children so the rebels use them as protection. On page 24 it explains how "they didn't want people to abandon the town, because they needed to use civilians as a shield against the military." As long as the rebels keep themselves shielded with children and civilians, the military can't attack.

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    5. The rebels could have two reasons to recruit only boys. The boys could seem innocent but could kill the solders without knowing like the Vietnam War the kids were joining the war and they kill solders without them knowing. The solders would not want to kill innocent children because they might not feel good about killing them.

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    6. My guess is that children are easier to control and they can also last longer than lets say a 30 year old. Also they are easier to drug.

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  18. "In many Mende stories the spider is the character that tricks other animals to get what he wants, but his tricks always backfire on him" (page 71). Is Ishmael the spider? He keeps escaping the rebels but when will his luck run out?

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    1. Yes, because Ishmael gets away from the rebels each time. They all know who he is and they will find him.

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    2. I think Ishmael is the spider because he knows how to think quick and get around the bad. Even his grandmother said that he was a spider. But in the story of the spider on page 71, his grandmother says, "His tricks always backfire on him." So I think when Ishmael plays his tricks, sometimes it puts him into a deeper and deeper hole to survive and his luck is running out because realty is going to get the better of him.

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  19. On page 71 "Upon our arrival at the village, the women and children clapped to welcome us." Do you think that the villagers feel sorry for Ishmael and his friends? If so then why and why are they not afraid of them like all the other villages that they have been to?

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  20. On page 39 Ishmael and his five companions find that people are scared of them. Do you think that Ishmael will use this as some sort of advantage towards being powerful?

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    1. No I think he wants to find a group of people that have found a way to control the situation and can provide for them. And if they're scared of them then no one will take them in.

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    2. In a way yes because he could take advantage of them, but at the same time Ishmael and the others are just trying to survive and probably very scared so power really isn't on their mind.

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    3. I think he will use the advantage but only when he needs it like when there starving or need food.

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  21. On page 45 he says " We stayed with them for two weeks, two weeks that felt like months. Each day went by very slowly as i busied myself thinking about what other possibilities lay ahead." Wouldn't you think time would go by fast, why did it go by so slowly?

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  22. In chapter 8 Ishmael and the boys ran into a old man in the middle of the village. How did he help them on their journey? Did this make a big difference?

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  23. What makes Junior very quite after they arrive at the abandoned village?

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    1. What page/chapter are you talking about?

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  24. On page 61 why does the fisherman want to help Beah and his friends?

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    1. He knew that they were getting chased by the rebels and he knew that they were almost dying of hunger so he decides to give them help.

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  25. On page 80 Ishmael says, "One afternoon, while searching for food in a deserted village a large crow fell out of the sky." Did Ishmael use the crow as a symbol for foreshadow evil?

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  26. For most of chapter 7 Ismael is on his own, wondering from village to village trying to survive. He goes through a period of trying to bring back as many memories of his grandfather teaching him about different plants that are good for medicine. Do you think this made him feel more alone or more at peace knowing he still remembers these things and that they will always be with him.

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    1. I think he is more at peace that he can remember things his grandfather had showed him about medicine in order for him to survive. It also makes him realize that his grandparents will always be with him and they care about him. If they were there with him, they would make sure for all of them that they will survive.

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  27. How has continuously facing terrible dangers affected Ishmael and his friends? Are they always going to be living in fear?

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    1. No because eventually they will learn to get over their fear and the dangers will make Ishmael a stronger person later on.

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    2. I think that they might have traces of PTSD later when they manage to get to a safe place. They will still be a bit paranoid.

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  28. On page 76 it says, "He rubbed some of the water from the calabash on my forehead and recited more prayers, followed by the proclamation of my name".
    What do you believe the deeper meaning of this ceremony is? Why is it so important?

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    1. Maybe he does it to remind him of his home and the ones he loved and he is using that ceremony to give him hope and strength to keep going.

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    2. I think that this ceremony represents Ishmael's identity. People know you by your name and it determines who you will be. At this point in the story, Ishmael is finding out who he is and reflecting on this memory is helping him answer that.

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    3. The importance of the ceremony is, to almost remind him of what kind of person he truly is but then, let him go and almost let him live a new life. An escape from the past.

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  29. Do you think that in a small way, Ishmael wishes he had died instead of Saidu?

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    1. No. I don't think that even when it happened he would have wished that he had died instead of Saidu. Specially now, with all he's done.

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    2. I think that Ishmael is glad to be alive. He escaped death numerous times before and I don't think he would just want to give up.

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  30. Pg 60 When Ishmael and his friend are attacked by the villagers."' Please, we are harmless and just passing by,"...The fisherman jabbed us...They sat on top of us, tied our hands..." Why are the people jumping to conclusion that the kids are harmful to the boys?

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  31. In chapter 9 when Ishmael gets to the village on the ocean, why did the villagers take Ishmael and his friends shoes instead of capturing or killing them?

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    1. They didn't want to kill little boys and they knew that walking on the hot sand without shoes would be a big enough punishment.

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  32. Do you think the children hurting their feet symbolizes something?

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    1. Yes it does, it is like they don't want to be there anymore so they are trying to get out of it and hurt them self's of this terrible experience as a child.

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    2. I think it symbolizes that they hurt their feet.

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  33. How did the rap music in chapter 9 help Ismael and the boys? Was it a life saver for them?

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    1. No, its not like the rebels were going to just go and kill the kid. but, it's also not like it didn't help but, it didn't really have a lot to do with saving them I could see how it distracted them though.

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  34. On page 59 it talks about how Ishmael and the others found a beach and started playing soccer and just relaxing, does the beach provide a place where the group can sorta of leave the thoughts of war behind them?

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  35. After walking for two days Ishmael finds himself walking around a big circle in the forest on the fourth day. I believe that the average person would go crazy after wasting their energy for nothing. What makes Ishmael stay calm and positive?

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    1. I think surviving takes his mind off all that because when your surviving little things like that don't really matter.

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  36. Does Ismael and his constant fight to stay alive symbolize something that is the lesson of the book?

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    1. I think that the book is trying to show that if you never give up then you will eventually succeed.

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  37. What make Ishmael and his friends continue on such a long voyage?

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    1. They want to survive the war and not be captured by the rebels.

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    2. I think it is because they have no where else to go because they can't turn back or else they will get captured by the rebels.

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  38. What is the symbolism of the crow falling out of the sky? (Page 80)

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  39. On page 51, Ishmael eats a fruit he knows may be poison. Would you do this in this situation? Does this show a different side of Ishmael? What does this fruit symbolize?

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    1. There are three outcomes in that kind of situation: eat the fruit and live, eat the fruit and die, or die from starvation. I think it symbolizes how desperate Ishmael was and how he had to take a risk in order to live.

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  40. In chapter 10 on page 81 a crow fell out of the sky and it wasn't dead but it was unable to fly. What did Ismael and his friends think this meant to them or did it show something good or bad?

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    1. It does shoe something because the crow was not dead, it was just injured and earlier in the chapter the kids were hurting there feet do that they couldn't walk.

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  41. "I became frustrated with with living in fear. I felt as if i was always waiting for death to come to me, so I decided to go somewhere where at least there was some peace.." Do believe that Ishmael leaving his friend behind did him good or more harm?

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    1. It brought some beneficial things but i think emotionally it hurt him more than it helped him,

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  42. What real-world applications can we draw as parallels to a boy soldier? Since it is a concept foreign to Americans, (sure, we've had young soldiers, but nothing like this,) what could we compare? What would make this easier to understand for people that are not familiar with this practice?

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    1. I think that there is nothing that can even compare to what happened in Sierra Leone and I don't think that as Americans we can ever understand what actually happened to these kids during the war.

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  43. On page 70, when Saidu says, "Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies." Saidu accepts death, does Ishmael?

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  44. At the end of chapter 10 how did Ishmael feel when he found out that Junior was safe in a village?

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    1. I think that he felt a sense of peace when he realized that he hadn't caused Junior's death.

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