Other than Ishmael I believe that Esther, the nurse has the biggest impact on me so far. She’s really only in the end of one chapter and the whole next but overall she has affected Ismael in the biggest way possible. She continues to tell him that “It’s not your fault.” Even though at the beginning, Ishmael refuses to listen and receive and sympathy from her, he gradually warms up to her and begins to tell her his story and why he is and the way he is today. An example from the book is in chapter 17, page 154 when Esther gives Ismael a gift. The gift is a Walkman and even though Ismael is hesitant at first, this is the first step towards realization and opening up.
I believe that it truly isn’t Ishmael’s fault he is the way that he is. The life he has lived is hard and demanding. A life that no kid should have, and because of this, the rehabilitation process will take time for him to fully recover. It will take time like I said, but I believe that with the right care and guidance, Ishmael will soon become the loving caring young man he once was. At first I would be scared honestly to know that I had a child soldier who is currently recovering living in my neighborhood, but eventually I would realize that he is trying hard and I would do anything I could to make him feel safe and that he belonged.
The best sensory detail that I believe Beah uses in his story is sensory details. There are countless times throughout the book where I stop, close my eyes, and imagine what it was like for him in Sierra Leone and the hardships that he constantly faced. An example is in Chapter 11 page 95, “My entire body went into shock. Only my eyes moved, slowly opening and closing. I tried to shake my legs to get my blood flowing, but I Fell to the ground, holding my face. On the ground I felt as if my eyes were growing too big for their sockets.”
My favorite passage that spoke and still speaks to me is in chapter six on the first page, “People stopped trusting each other, and every stranger became an enemy. Even people who knew you became extremely careful about how they related or spoke to you.” That right there is what this story in my opinion is formed and shaped around. Friends will be torn apart, families will be separated, and nothing was the same or ever will be normal again.