Study Guide

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Chapter 2

By Ishmael Beah

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Chapter 2

  • Ishmael is pushing a wheelbarrow with a body inside of it through a town that is littered with bloody and wounded bodies. On his back is an AK-47.
  • It's hard to tell if it's day or night or why he's even taking this body to the cemetery at all.
  • At the cemetery, Ishmael struggles to lift the body out of the wheelbarrow. He collapses to the ground and sees blood rushing out of the body from under the white sheet that's covering it.
  • Ishmael pulls back the cover and sees his own body lying there.
  • But thank goodness, it's only a dream. Ishmael wakes from the dream, and he's safe and sound in his new apartment in New York City.
  • He's been in the United States about a month, but it's difficult to forget what he's done in Sierra Leone.
  • He thinks about the time he and another group of armed boys shot and killed another group of fighters. Those dead soldiers were children like them, but Ishmael and the other boys with him didn't care. He took their ammunition and the food they had been carrying.
  • This is why sleep is still the hardest thing for Ishmael. His dreams bring back these memories. During the day, he is the happy person he was as a child. But night is a whole different story.

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