Conflict can be external or internal creating depth in a character and making a very complex journey. Ishmael Beah the author of A Long Way Gone goes through many trials and conflicts that he has to overcome, creating his identity. Ishmael losses everything that has meaning to him, being made into something he is not. Facing a harsh reality of his own life. The decision whether to forget and move on or except what he is going to become will determine his identity.
Everyone has an identity made and changed by what they have been through and what they have experienced. Ishmael did not have a permanent home. He was always traveling and running to get away from the war. He became very strong at a young age. He lived in the wild having to find his own food and shelter, or else he would die.
Walking 25 miles to somewhere without telling anyone you’re leaving has a huge impact on your life and how others view you. After running day and night they had finally been captured by the rebels. Being forced to become something they are not is a horrifying experience. That’s exactly what happened when Ishmael and his friends were captured. The cassette tape that was in his pocket saved his life many times; Ishmael escaped luckily but had nowhere to run once again. These life-changing experiences will surly have an effect on his life, and how he faced everything alone.
Stealing corn from a innocent child because you are so weak and haven’t eating anything in so long you are willing to throw away your guilt. Risking everything you have left everyday, because you no longer have family to run back to, no food, no water and no innocents to keep yourself motivated. Seeing people die, parents and children being shot to death for no reason, people being buried alive, everyone running in a panic, young boys being kidnapped to become child soldiers. The fear of a loaded gun being pressed against your head is something that strongly shapes your identity. Seeing and being around this everyday will truly show who Ishmael is as a person.
Ishmael Beahs life story shapes identity he had no one fighting his battle with him or helping him, only himself. Rapping, war and innocents is what is identity is. To be on your own at the age of 12, have nothing and travel around on foot alone is taking a lot on Ishmael’s life identity. Living with tragedy in your eyes is something you cannot take back or erase from your memory. All of the things he has seen and done will always be a part of Ishmael as a person.