Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fishbowl #5: A Long Way Gone, Chapters 15-17

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!

87 comments:

  1. Ishmael is starting to act just as gorilla like as the rebels do. Does he see this happening to himself?

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    1. I don't think so because he is so hooked on drugs that he is unsure how violent he is being and what he is really fighting for. He feels nothing so this makes him act like a rebel and be violent towards everyone.

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    2. I believe he can see it, but he's not aware it's wrong. The drugs keep that from him.

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    3. I agree with Hannah, because he is so hyped up on the drugs that he isn't thinking clearly and he really can't 'feel' (Like emotions, physical, or mentally) so no, he doesn't really know that he is turning into a gorilla.

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  2. Ishmael keeps having dreams of men killing him in a brutal way. What do these dreams mean to him?

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    1. I think he feels guilty for what he did to all the men that he killed and internally, he wants the same thing to happen to him so he can truly be redeemed.

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    2. I don't think that the dreams mean anything, but rather his dreams are just scars on his mind left from his experiences in the war.

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    3. I think the dreams mean that he is scared that he is going to get killed and he is growing used to all the killing and brutality of the war

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    4. Linking onto what Hadley said, it's kind of like Amir when he didn't feel redeemed until Assef beat him up. The only way these two characters felt better about causing violence/pain is by receiving violence/pain.

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  3. How would you handle the situation if you were Ishmael? Would you try to find your family or would you try to find safety?

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    1. If I was in his position i would definitely look for my family because i feel like that would be a lot safer.

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    2. If I was in Ishmael's position, I would look for family because they would probably be somewhere safe and if not I would be together with my family.

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  4. "I wished my journey had been as meaningful and as full of merriment as theirs" (page 164). Looking back now, was Ishmael's journey was as meaningful as that of Queen of Sheba and King Solomon?

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    1. Yes because it's a powerful story and it shows that when you go through something so tragic, it changes you forever. His childhood will always be completely different then other kids and he went through something that a 13 year old boy should never go through. His story changes peoples outlook on life which is just as meaningful as the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon

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  5. Does Ishmael still have hope after he got captured over and over?

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    1. I think that joining the army gave him hope because he felt like he was fighting for good and he was able to avenge his family's suffering.

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  6. Ishmael is having dreams of himself being killed in horrid ways. Do you think that it's his own way of punishing himself for what he did?

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    1. I don't believe he wants to have these dreams, or that his mind is punishing him, this may just be the natural effect of the killing

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    2. Yes because I think his conscious is trying to show him that what he is doing is wrong and that if he is going to act violent and have no shame for what he has done, his body is going to react and try to send a message that he is a brutal person and needs to stop because if he doesn't he is going to face violent consequences.

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    3. Well as he keeps slaughtering innocent people, in his mind subconsciously his conscience makes him feel even more guilty of him turning into a monster.

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  7. pg 163 "How did she know I loved to write song lyrics" When reading about Ishmael going through rehab he feels really fulfilled when he listens to the music. Why would he crave violence when he is more fulfilled when he listens to music?

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  8. Did Ishmael feel relieved in chapter 15 when he was chosen to get a new life and go back to school because he had served his country?

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    1. Yes but no. Yes, he gets to start over and end killing people, but his brothers and family don't get to start over, or all the people he killed. And he has to live with the memory of this forever.

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    3. Ishmael probably felt destroyed, because at the time all he wanted to do is kill rebels and get high.

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  9. If you were in Ishmael's shoes and the drug was taken away from you, what would you do to cope with it? Getting off an addiction is almost impossbile, and everyone finds a different escape route. What's yours?

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  10. For on page 126 "My squad was my family, my gun was my provider and protector, and my rule was to kill or be killed." In this quote what is the symbolism of Ismael between violence and family?

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  11. On page 154 Ishmael tells his nurse that he got his scars from bullet wounds. How would you react if you saw a young child with bullet wounds? Would you be afraid?

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    1. I would feel bad for them and the pain they were going through.

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    2. I would want to know the story behind it and how it effected him. I still would be scared but I'd want to see how being a boy soldier changed him and what solution there could be with a boy so violent.

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  12. Why did Ishmael result in pulling out his grenade when Alhaji pushed a boy who then came back at him with a bayonet? Was he planning on killing all of them?

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    1. It was probably just reactions to violence that he still has from fighting and didn't think about the deaths of others

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  13. Pg 160 "Its not your fault." Why would they say that? Why would the boys feel guilty for being dragged into the war ?

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    1. They want the boys to know that their violent ways are not normal but they shouldn't feel guilty about what they have done.

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    2. The boys would be like how soldiers of WWI or WWII or even people that come back from any war would have bad memories of their experience. If they remember the war they will feel guilty for killing all those people. Think if you were in the war that you didn't want to and had to kill people wouldn't you feel guilty.

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  14. On page 126 Ishmael said "My childhood had gone by without my knowing, and it seemed as if my heart had frozen." What did Ishmael mean that his heart was frozen?

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    1. He has lost his emotion. He doesn't care about life anymore.

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    2. I think that some of that feeling is being numb from the drug withdraw and also that his childhood is taken away from him by the rebels. His heart feeling frozen may have been from the fact that his family is gone and feeling that he has no one to turn to after all this is over.

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    3. I agree with Andy because Ismael's heart doesn't really feel or have any emotion probably because of everything he has seen.

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  15. Are drugs an escape or a trap?

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    1. Drugs are an escape from reality. Ishmael and all of the soldiers would have felt terrible if they were conscience when they were going through the war and drugs kept their minds from dwelling on all the terrible images they saw.

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    2. I would say at the beggining when they first start to do drugs its an escape but as you move along it begins to get harder and harder to stop

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    3. I think that they are both. For Ishmael drugs were an escape from reality. They ended his nightmares and migraines but once he started the drugs, he was trapped and he couldn't get out.

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    4. I agree with Hadley because after Ishmael lost about everything that he had in the war, he would consider taking the drugs to escape from reality, but also all his pain that he's carrying on his soldiers.

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    5. Both because they do provide relief from all his pain but at the same time he is trapped because without them he suffers from withdrawal.

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    6. They are kind of both. They have people escape from reality and the problems, but also a trap because once you start using them you get so used to them that once you get off the drugs you want to go back to using them.

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    7. The drugs are a trap at first because if the rebels gave them the pill they would have many kids addicted to it and could control them. The drug may feel as an escape from reality but the truth is people may have consciousness of all the things they do. When people feel that they are unconsciously doing things.

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  16. Do you think that dreams that Ishmael are having are foreshadowing something that is going to happen to someone?

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    1. I guess that this could be happening, but I think that he was seeing things that he, or people around him have done, but to himself.

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  18. On page 131 the author states that in January 1996, when Ishmael was 15 years old, his world is again changed. What does he mean by this? How many times has Ishmael's life changed?

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    1. It has changed many times because he has seen a lot of things which would have changed his life and also meeting new friends and losing him.

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    2. Every time Ishmael experienced something his life can change drastically from all the chaos he's taking in as he goes. But Ishmael might seek hope or revenge and that's why his world can totally change in matter of seconds.

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  19. What did Esther mean to Ishmael? Was he important to him and what role did he play in his life?

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    1. Esther was Ishmael's rehab and guide. She helped him get over the drugs he took and stuck with him when he became violent. She also continued to bring him things that would remind him from his past in an effort to help him see what he has become.

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  20. In rehab how long would these fights be going on with grenades and bayonets with these boys who were trained to kill?

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    1. Probably a long time because it would be hard to forget all the training and war experience?

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  21. Why are the boys being so violent against the staff who are trying to help them?

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    1. They have seen all of the suffering around the country and they thought that the staff was trying to ignore it instead of fighting for what's "right".

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  22. Pg 154 "...coming through the headphones. I began to shake my head," While reading this passage you see how happy ishmael is without violence. Would he have been in the war if he could have listened to his cassettes during the war?

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    1. Very good question. I think that even if he could have listened to his tapes that he would have been dragged into the fight when he lost his family anyway.

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  23. When will the intake of drugs negatively effect the soldiers?

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    1. The intake of drugs is always negatively affecting the soldiers because they are just killing people because they want to survive because there is no point to the war it is just one large massacre.

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    2. I believe the drugs will end up hurting the soldiers in the long run, but for now they ease the pain.

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  24. How did Ishmael feel after the rebels attacked the village and after he was all beat up and had to go to the hospital?

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    1. I think he feels anger for everything that he has lost and for what the rebels have put him through.

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    2. You could obviously tell that he was sad and angry, but even more driven to destroy the rebels for killing his family.

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  25. how is Esther affected by Ishmael's story? Does she genuinely care about him and his happiness or is he just another patient with a violent past?

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    1. I think she truly cares about him because even though he seems all tough and strong, he still is a boy who gets scared and wants help but just doesn't know how to show it. I think she sees him differently then how other people see him and she wants to help and make him into a better person. "My name is Esther and we should be friends," Esther says on pg 153. She wants to become closer to him so that he will trust her and put faith in her and then she will be able to save him for his horrid past.

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  26. Why are rebel boys and army's boys both placed in the same area? Isn't that a recipe for major disaster?

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    1. They are placed in the same area in hope to make them come together as children, and forget about the war.

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  27. How has Ishmael's loyalty as a soldier changed throughout the story?

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    1. I think that he is completely convinced that his side is the good side and his views will always be against the rebels.

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  28. The drugs in the war helps the children soldiers kill innocent civilians, but can there be a point where all the drugs just stop?

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    1. I don't think that the drugs will ever stop because of the commitment the soldiers have to them and they are easy to grab a hold of.

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    2. I think that if the drugs just stop the boys would go crazy and start fighting anyone for a little cocaine and that would cause even more deaths than the war itself.

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  29. If the war ever ends will there ever be freedom for the people that survived from the war?

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    1. It will depend on how the war ends and who is now left in charge.

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  30. Does Ishmael have a better chance of survival now that he is a soldier, or did he have a better shot at survival while he was running from the soldiers?

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    1. I think he has a better shot as a soldier because at least he has weapons and supplies to help him out where he doesn't really have enough to protect him when he is running.

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    2. There are advantages and disadvantages to each choice but I think that Ishmael would have been taking gun fire either way because there is no running away from the war.

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  31. Did Ishmael like being in the army or did he wish he was back in time where he was just a boy in Sierra Leone?

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    1. I think Ishmael would rather be back in Sierra Leone in the past because there was no worries and he had his family all together.

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  32. When Ishmael seeks his revenge what will his life be like after?

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    1. Well he already did, that's why he is why he is where he is because he want revenge on the rebels for killing his family and friends. So his life is how it would be after.

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  33. pg. 137, Ishmael Beah - "The blood of our victims and enemies was fresh on our arms and clothes."

    In this quote, he differentiates his victims from his enemies. This seems good to me because he knows that the civilians are innocent. He has not been brainwashed yet.

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  34. On page 187, Ismael says- " Well, I am from the part of the country where I have not only suffered because of the war but i have also participated in it and undergone rehabilitation. So I have a better understanding, based on my experience of the situation, than any of these city boys who are here for the interview." What do you think this means like almost that Ismael is getting better day by day?

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