1. The character who has meant the most to me was Alhaji in these later chapters of 14-18. He has been with Ishmael since he stumbled across him and the other when Ishmael got separated from his brother. While Alhaji was fighting and killing along side Ishmael. I find that with him, Ismael has not only got a comrade at arms that is willing to lay down his life for him but Alhaji is also a friend who wants to see Ishmael happy.
It was when Ishmael was watching table tennis match and Nurse Esther had given him a cold Coca- Cola. Ishmael left the game hall with Alhaji and sat on a rock and shared the coca-cola with him. one page 152. Alhaji speaks his mind about the nurse by saying "She likes you," Ishmael knew right away that Alhaji was teasing him when he wrote Alhaji saying "You mean you are afraid of women," Alhaji replied, nodding. but from there while it was small in comparison but in his own way he was not only making fun of him but also managed to re direct Ismael's thoughts to something positive instead of the negative.
2. I think that Ishmael rehabilitation is a change for the better for him in the long run. No offense to Ishmael as he was following orders as his role as a soldier and he was the ideal solder because of his age and size. However, Green Snake was scary, cold and insane. I prefer his grandmother's Carseloi who was fun, loving, trickster who liked to play tricks on his older brother.
I do believe that rehabilitation is possible and can work for anyone who is willing to accept it and able to take the time to look at themselves and learn from their mistakes, relish in their accomplishments and make themselves to move forward into their next adventure.
If Ismael decided to come to Columbus and move into my neighborhood, I would be okay with Ishmael moving in. My reason is the fact that I know I would be one of those too nice people who would give him the benefit of the doubt until I witness him doing something bad in current time instead of judging him by what he did in his past. I feel that his past is something that is apart of of and will always be there, Yet, the past does not define who you are as a person in the present and the future as both are ever changing.
3. I believe what Ismael does well is making the setting become vivid on paper. there have been many time that he will be describing a place or a village and while I have never left the United States, I feel like I am there in that moment seeing and feeling everything.
To be more specific there was a part at the bottom of page 176, Ismael was walking up with his uncle to meet his family for the first time when Ismael wrote "Immediately after a bend and a rise on the gravel road we came upon my uncle's house. It overlooked the city, and from the verandah one could see the ships in the bay. It was a beautiful view of the city, this place that was to become my home. The house had no electricity or running water, and the kitchen that stood apart from the house was made entirely of zinc. Under a mango tree a few meters from the yard was the latrine and the kule- open- air shower. It reminded me of Mattru Jong." so in that instant you get a two for one deal as you get a better feel for his home now and the one from his past.
4. My favorite passage from the book actually at the end of chapter 17. after Ishmael and Esther have dinner at her place, they take a walk in the city. Ishmael wrote "We went to the wharf at the end of Rawdon Street. The Moon was out that night and we sat at the jetty and watched it. I told Esther about the shapes I used to see in the moon when I was much younger. She was fascinated. We looked at the moon and described the shapes we saw to each other. I saw the woman cradling the baby in her arms, just as I used to. On our way back to her house, I didn't look at the city lights any longer. I looked into the sky and felt as if the moon was following us."
It impacted me because it reminded of all the times as a kid, that I would be lying in the grass and looking up at the sky either in the day time or night time and trying to figure out what the shapes of the clouds meant or what the moon was thinking that night. Yet, nowadays, as an adult it seems silly to even think about doing that in my back yard let alone a public area. I feel like the point of all is while you grow up, your good childhood memories will always bring a smile to your face and that is something that cannot ever be lost even if you don't act on them.