Thursday, October 23, 2014

Exploration 5 Courtney Shaffer

1. Esther is a really important character in this story in my opinion. She has meant a lot because when you look back at Ishmael when he first came to rehabilition he was a mess, he couldn't control himself and his thoughts. She has helped him come a long way and the fact that Ismael has been so irrated and hates when everyone, including Esther, says "It's not your fault" "None of these things are your fault." Ishmael says one day when talking to Esther, "Even though I heard that phrase from every staff member-and frankly I ad always hated it-I began that day to believe it" (Beah 165). Ismael also says, "I had become very fond of Esther, but refused to show it" (Beah 168). Ishmael has been unable to trust anyone or enjoy the presence of anyone because of the war and Esther is helping him come to these things again slowly.

2. I do think that Ishmael's rehabilitation is possible, but I think it's going to take years and not everything will help him become completley normal again. He will always remember the things that have happened to him but rehabilitation will help him find ways to try and keep his mind off these things and back into his daily life. I wouldn't have an opinion if he moved into my neighborhood after rehabilition because I don't think that he's trying to cause fights and violence.

3. A specific convention of narrative that I want to talk about it interior monologue. I think Beah uses this well because he's writing the story about himself and his story so the interior monologue is really real. An example of this would be when Ishmael met his uncle for the first time ever, the man he was going to live with, he says, "...I didn't know what to do in my happy state. I was still hesitant to let myself let go, because I still believed in the fragility of happiness" (Beah 173). This explains how Ishmael feels on the inside. He's revealing his inner thoughts and feelings to us.

4. A passage that really struck me by the writing was on page 158 in the third paragraph. It's a long paragraph but one part from it that's very descriptive is, "...The doctor stuck a crooked-looking scissors inside my wound and fished for the bullet. I could feel the edge of the metal inside me. My entire body was racked with pain. My bones became sour. Just when I thought I had had enough, the doctor abruptly pulled the bullet out. A peircing pain rushed up my spine from my waist to the back of my neck. I fainted" (Beah 158). This impacted me because it is so descriptive I felt as if I was there with him. It helps to makes you really understand the story and what he was going through.


  1. I agree with the passage you picked. I think it was really descriptive. I really am able to understand the pain that he is going though. I also chose Esther as an important character. She is helping Ishmel get through the mess that he has been though.

  2. I completely agree with question 2 about his rehabilitation. He will never completely be the same again, those memories of the war are going to be with him forever. He cannot escape his life. I just think he will personally get better with tuning it out and moving on.

  3. I agree that Esther was a great character to have a positive impact on Ishmael's life. He speaks several times about how he finally has a somewhat sense of happiness when talking to her.


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