Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fishbowl #4: A Long Way Gone, Chapters 11-14

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!

95 comments:

  1. how does he feel about killing all those people.

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    1. His entire perspective of thinking has changed due to the hardships he has faced and all the drugs he is taking. I am not sure he really feels emotion when he kills people.

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    2. He probably feels regret because no one really wants to go out and kill people.

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    3. He feels bad about killing these people, but since he is on drugs the deaths probably don't effect him in any way.

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  2. Does Ishmael wish that he had died instead of his friends in Chapter 13?

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    1. Yes I think he would because he might feel that it's his fault for their deaths or he didn't do anything to save them. So if he had died he would have saved two people and not have to feel guilty.

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    2. Sometimes the guilt can get you and you can feel and think that way, but in the long run I'm sure Ishmael is happy to have survived! even at the expense of his friends.

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    3. Kind of. Because now he is stuck with the death of his friends in his mind, but I think he is happy that he is still alive; however I think he wishes that his friends would be alive with him.

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  3. Would Ishmael have rather risked his life in the forest or become a soldier fighting the rebels?

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    1. At the moment in the book, I think risk his life in the forest, but now that he's survived it and he's older, I think he's grateful he's still alive.

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    2. I think hat Ishmael would have rather live in the forest because fighting with the rebels is a bit more deadly. Plus he was doing pretty good for living in the forest for a little bit.

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    3. I think that he is Grateful to be alive

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    4. I think he would rather be in the forest because war is a terrible thing especially for a boy this young. He does not like killing so i dont know why he would want to be in the war

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  4. What are the soldiers going to do when they figure out that this little white tablet makes them kill and do evil things? Will they refuse it? If so, will the older soldiers force them?

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    1. This little white tablet does not make them kill, the tablet just eases the pain of killing, and numbs them up

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    2. They wont ever find out what the white tablet does because they are addicted to it and crave more when they aren't taking them.

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  5. How does Ismael feel after he killed Gasemu?

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    1. I appreciate your comment, but Ishmael didn't kill Gasemu, Gasemu died due to his bullet wounds. Ishmael only gave him a bloody nose, yet, saying that, Ishmael feels bad about his anger towards Gasemu, now that Gasemu is dead

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  6. Do you think that if Ishmael was able to find an old friend or a neighbor, his hope for finding his family?

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    1. I think it would help him to keep going and look for his family

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    2. I agree with Josh on this because to Ishmael his family means everything to him.

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  7. Whenever I looked at rebels during raids, I got angrier, because they looked like the rebels who played cards in the ruins of the village where I had lost my family. So when the lieutenant gave orders, I shot as many as I could, but I didn't feel any better.
    Ishmael Beah, p. 122

    Does this quote from Ishmael show violence won't make you feel better and that it can't solve your problems?

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    1. For the quote Pg 122 " I didn't feel any better." He doesn't feel better because he he is acting like the rebel. He feels that when he fights in the war on the rebel's side he is becoming like one of them. Violence never resolves your problems because it doesn't get the need of feel better meet when he does this.

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  8. Even if death is normal in Ishmael's situation, is it still hard for him when someone close to him dies.

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    1. I think that it is still hard on him because he was still aware of what he was doing

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  9. Page 124 "The Person who died the quickest won the contest" When you read this doesn't it sound like the army is just as bad as the rebels. Especially because they do drugs like the rebels and torcher people like the rebels. Is the war a lost cause with both sides doing evil?

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    1. The army is trying to inspire the boys to kill the rebels even faster. They want the boys to have fun while doing it so that on the battle field they will want even more to kill the rebels.

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    2. Yes I agree the whole war is corrupt, both sides are killing just to kill. There doesn't seem like a legitamente purpose for war anymore. It's sad humans turn into killing machines instead of fighting for a good cause.

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  10. Why is it that when they were running from the burning village that the only adult with them, Gasemu, had been shot and killed?

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    1. As they were running Gasemu got shot in the side, and they didn't find anyone in the village alive so they ran by themselves.

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  11. Why do the boys not try to get away from the village and get past the rebels? they have gotten past them multiple times before so why wouldn't they try again?

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    1. Probably because the don't want to take anymore chances and they are tired of getting away.

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  12. On page 100 on of the soldiers threw his water at Ishmaels face and said "You will get used to it, everybody does eventually." What did Ismael think after this happened? Did he think he had no chance to escape?

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    1. I think it maight have been the point where he gave up on hope, and just accepted that he was a soldier now.

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  13. Pg 99 when Gasemu is dying. "I put Gasemu's arm around my neck. Alhaji did the same... His arms are cold. his body was still sweating and he continued to bleed. " Even though Gasemu was a small part of Ishmael's life in this part of the book. Did Ishmael put Gasemu in the part of the story as a symbolic figure? Explain and Why?

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    1. This is not just a story! This is a memoir! It actually happened

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    2. If your confused on this question, it is why he decided to write the part of Gasemu dying and being with them instead of maybe leaving his out of the memoir.He chooses what to write in the memoir.

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  14. When Ishmael was handed the AK-47 he was also handed a new life in fighting the rebels where everyday the challenge was not to be shot dead. Would Ishmael have died if he didnt become a soldier?

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    1. He would have because they said that was his only chance besides fighting them

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  15. How would Ishmael's family view him now that he has done all these evil things? Would they love him any less because of what he has done?

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    1. I think they would understand that he was forced to do it he did not want to and he was druged most of the time

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  16. Page 124 "We talked only about war movies and how impressed we were with the way either the lieutenant, the corporal, or one of us had killed someone. It was as if nothing else existed outside our reality."
    Has Ishmael's conscious left him? He is doing the things he feared.

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  17. Do you think that Ishmael is using his memories to keep him from breaking down and quitting.

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    1. This is a very good observation. I agree that he is trying to hang on to his sanity.

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    2. Yes, because without them he probably wouldn't have a reason to live.

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    3. I think that he is because I think that really calms him down and takes him to a good place. Since he is in the war there is obviously a lot of dark times and this really helps.

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  18. How did Ismael change when he had to become a soldier and join the forces change his life? Did he feel like giving up or was his outlook different?

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    1. I think Ishmael is so drugged up he doesn't realize how much he changed in this moment in the book. Once he got out of this war, he looked back and realized how much he had changed and how much evil he had done.

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  19. What did Ishmael see that made him realize that he wouldn't be returning home?

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    1. He has seen many people die, and killed many, that he knows that whatever if he can go home, it would never be the same because of what has happened.

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    1. Is it really a big deal that they did cocaine in this scenario, remember that these aren't normal circumstances?

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  21. On page 86 the sky grows dark and heavy rain is falling. Honestly, what else could go wrong?

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  22. Page 116 "The corporal said it will boost your energy," The soldier announced with a secretive smile on his face. As soon as we took the tablets it was time to leave"
    Would Ishmael have taken the drugs if he would have known what they were? And if he didn't would he be doing the stuff he is right now?

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    1. I think Ishmael might of taken the drugs, because of peer pressure or they might make him. If he had not taken the drug, he would be scared of what they wanted him to do.

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    2. I think that he was forced to do the drugs in a way

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  23. Everywhere Ishmael and his traveling companions went they would end up running for hours away from the rebels but now they were fighting them. Now he doesn't have to run. Is this almost he was waiting for?

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  24. Why is Gasemu skeptical about the boys when they enter the village?

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    1. Because they could be rebels and they could hurt the village so he has to be in order to protect his people.

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    2. Pg 91 "When Gasemu was by the path, he stopped an examined our faces...."You boys want to help me carry some bananas to the village."' Gasemu is happy to see the boys because in the morning the people of the village was looking for the boys. When he meets up with the boys that the people were looking for he wanted to take them to the village to their family.

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  25. Could it be a possibility that everything that is happening is because of the drugs he took?

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    1. I think the drugs really do play a role because they really do change everything.

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  26. In chapter 14, was there a reason that the author put drugs into the story? Did they symbolize something?

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    1. Uh ya he put drugs into the story because it's what happened. This is a memoir not a fantasy.

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    2. The author put drugs into the story because that's what truly happened to these children. This isn't just to make the novel more entertaining. The author is trying to give you a real idea what him and other children went through.

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  27. On page 93, the boys hear gunshots, people screaming and smoke from houses. Are the boys ever going to recover from all of the horror they have been through?

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    1. No because bad memories like those will never leave you.

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    2. Horrific events will stick with you your entire lifetime. This is why Military members get PTSD because bad past events, specifically military events will scar you for life.

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  28. On page 118 when the rebels and the army is fighting it sounds like a small skirmish of killing a small group of people in a quick amount of time. Is the war just a mass killing/massacre and the war is over nothing just people wanting to kill eachother?

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    1. I think there was a good cause behind the revolution, but the power people get when a gun is put in their hands took over, and it turned into a mass massacre with the good cause as an excuse.

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  29. Does a bad change of events like what happened in chapter 11 make people turn on each other?

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  31. How did Ishmael feel when two of his friends died? Did it bring anger or sadness to him?

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    1. i think that it brought both to him because he was sad that he lost them and angry because e couldn't do anything about it.

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  32. Did the boys know that they were being druged at the time

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    1. Pg 116 '"A young soilder came by with a plastic bag full of some kind of tablet. He handed them to each of us with a cup of water. "The corporal said it will boost your energy"' At the time they knew it was a drug but he doesn't know that they were addictive drugs.

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  33. Do you think that at any point the boys thought that being part of the war might have been better than running away from it? At least they have a set supply of food.

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    1. Obviously there are pros and cons to each side but I think everything happens for a reason and some how and some way their choice of running away from the war will better them in the future and I think that the boys know that too because of all the faith that they have had throughout the whole story.

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  34. What is the significance of the white tablet given to the boy soldiers? Why would the lieutenant let them take the tablets knowing that it could harm them?

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    1. The lieutenant didn't care about their soldiers. They were just their to fight and help them.

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  35. How did the boys in the story go from fearing the war and everything about it to stopping their movie killing a couple dozen people and then coming back and resuming the movie and not even caring about it as if nothing happened?

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  36. On page 120, I had a dream that I was picking up Josiah from the tree stump and a gunman stood on top of me."What did Ismaels dream show about him? Was his mind in a bad state from everthing happening at the time?

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  37. On page 120 is says, "...if only I had let him continue sleeping on the first day of training." This is some of the first emotions he has about becoming a soldier. Do you think he really feels bad?

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  38. Does Ishmael find a sense of relaxation every time he does drugs?

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    1. Yes, because this relieves his pain. All the pain of losing his family, friends, and killing are just numbed

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  39. If your where in Ishmael's shoes would you take the gun and kill the rebels and die in the camp or go with the flow of how everything is happening and die in battle?

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    2. I would take the gun and kill the rebels because he was on a long journey to stay alive.

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  40. Did the lieutenants speech make Ishmael think differently? Did it change his attitude about the war?

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  41. Would he be able to seek redemption if he managed to help stop the war.

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  42. "Sometimes we were asked to leave for war in the middle of a movie. We would come back hours later after killing many people and continue the movie as if we had just returned from intermission. we were always either at the front lines, watching a war movie, or doing drugs. There was no time to be alone or to think."
    -Ishmael Beah pg. 124

    Will he ever regain the emotions he has lost, such as remorse

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    1. As he is writing this book I believe that he is going through his memories, kind of like therapy, and will regain his emotions.

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  43. On page 119, "I was not afraid of these lifeless bodies. I despised them and kicked them to flip flop." What did Ismael think when everybody else was dying?

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  44. Chapter11: The power of nature is a constant force on Ishmael's journey. He spends his evenings walking and feels that the moon is a constant companion. On moonless nights he is uncomfortable and frightened. Because the boys often walk in silence, their senses have become keener. The noise of nature is pervasive, and the forest both protects them from attacks and hides their attackers. They listen to the leaves for danger. They assess the wind for threats. They seek cover in the forest during thunder and lightning storms.
    Chapter 12:This chapter is a turning point because Ishmael and his friends are conscripted as child soldiers for the first time. It is ironic that the very village where life seems normal and safe becomes the place where their futures as child soldiers are determined. The theme of the horror of war is prevalent throughout this chapter as Ishmael and the other boys face an impossible decision. If they flee the protection of the village, they risk being killed by the rebels. If they refuse to fight for the army, they risk starvation. This shows that in times of war, people are forced to choose among horrible options that are often detrimental to someone else. It's kill or be killed, and Ishmael joins the army as his only chance of survival.
    Chapter 13:In this chapter, the boy soldiers get to behave like children, playing soccer and splashing in the river. Moments later, they are given guns and ammunition and marched off to battle. The loss of innocence is swift and confusing.
    Chapter 14: Ishmael's innocence is completely gone. He writes that the combination of the drugs made him fierce and that killing had become "as easy as drinking water." His attitude toward violence now is one of numb acceptance. He seems almost to enjoy the task, in vast contrast to his earlier descriptions of his reaction to killing. The soldier he has become now is a completely different person than the boy who loved dancing and rap music before. The brainwashing from the military seems complete. Ishmael claims that being a part of something makes him feel special. He no longer has to run from anyone; he now has a place, and the belonging is enough to motivate his violence.

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