50 A Long Way Gone Quotes With Page Numbers

A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah, is about a young boy named Ishmael.

Ishmael’s village in Sierra Leone is attacked when he’s 12 years old.

He’s forced to fight in the civil war, becomes addicted to drugs, and is told lies to commit horrific deeds.

UNICEF eventually rescues Ishmael and begins his long recovery process.

 

A Long Way Gone Quotes With Page Numbers

“The day seemed oddly normal. The sun peacefully sailed through the white clouds, birds sang from treetops, the trees danced to the quiet wind.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone, Chapter 1, Page 10

 

“One man carried his dead son. He thought the boy was still alive. The father was covered with his son’s blood, and as he ran he kept saying, “I will get you to the hospital, my boy, everything will be fine.” Perhaps it was necessary that he cling to false hopes, since they kept him running from harm.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 1, Page 13

 

“We must strive to be like the moon”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 1, Page 16

 

“I AM PUSHING a rusty wheelbarrow in a town where the air smells of blood and burnt flesh. The breeze brings the faint cries of those whose last breaths are leaving their mangled bodies. I walk past them. Their arms and legs are missing; their intestines spill out through the bullet holes in their stomachs; brain matter comes out of their noses and ears. The flies are so excited and intoxicated that they fall on the pools of blood and die. The eyes of the nearly dead are redder than the blood that comes out of them, and it seems that their bones will tear through the skin of their taut faces at any minute. I turn my face to the ground to look at my feet. My tattered crapes are soaked with blood, which seems to be running down my army shorts. I feel no physical pain, so I am not sure whether I’ve been wounded. I can feel the warmth of my AK-47’s barrel on my back; I don’t remember when I last fired it. It feels as if needles have been hammered into my brain, and it is hard to be sure whether it is day or night. The wheelbarrow in front of me contains a dead body wrapped in white bedsheets. I do not know why I am taking this particular body to the cemetery. When I arrive at the cemetery, I struggle to lift it from the wheelbarrow; it feels as if the body is resisting. I carry it in my arms, looking for a suitable place to lay it to rest. My body begins to ache and I can’t lift a foot without feeling a rush of pain from my toes to my spine. I collapse on the ground and hold the body in my arms. Blood spots begin to emerge on the white bedsheets covering it. Setting the body on the ground, I start to unwrap it, beginning at the feet. All the way up to the neck, there are bullet holes. One bullet has crushed the Adam’s apple and sent the remains of it to the back of the throat. I lift the cloth from the body’s face. I am looking at my own.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 2, Pages 18, 19

 

“I was afraid to fall asleep, but staying awake also brought back painful memories. Memories I sometimes wish I could wash away, even though I am aware that they are an important part of what my life is; who I am now. I stayed up all night, anxiously waiting for daylight, so that I could fully return to my new life, to rediscover happiness I had known as a child, the joy that had stayed alive inside me even through times when being alive itself became a burden. These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 2, Pages 19, 20

 

“These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 2, Page 20

 

“That night for the first time in my life I realized that it is the physical presence of people and their spirits that gives a town life. With the absence of so many people, the town became scary., the night darker, and the silence unbearably agitating. Normally, the crickets and the birds sang in the evening before the sun went down. But this time they didn’t, and the darkness set in very fast. The mood wasn’t in the sky; the air was stiff, as if nature itself was afraid of what was happening.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 3, Page 22

 

“Some people tried to hurt us to protect themselves, their family and communities…This was one of the consequences of civil war. 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.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 6, Page 37

 

“This is one of the consequences of the civil war. 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.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 6, Page 37

 

“I was glad to see other faces and at the same time disappointed that the war had destroyed the enjoyment of the very experience of meeting people.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 7, Page 48

 

“Sometimes I closed my eyes hard to avoid thinking, but the eye of the mind refused to be closed and continued to plague me with images.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 8, Page 49

 

“When I was very little, my father used to say, ‘If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.’ I thought about these words during my journey, and they kept me moving even when I didn’t know where I was going. Those words became the vehicle that drove my spirit forward and made it stay alive.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 8, Page 54

 

“If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 8, Page 54

 

“Circumstances will change and things will be fine, just hold on a little more”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 8, Page 55

 

“I will not be alive to see the end of this war. So, to save a place in your memories for other things, I won’t tell you my name. If you survive this war, just remember me as the old man you met. You boys should be on your way.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 8, Page 56

 

“Even in the middle of the madness there remained that true and natural beauty, and it took my mind away from my current situation as I marveled at this sight.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 9, Page 59

 

“ONE OF THE UNSETTLING THINGS about my journey, mentally, physically, and emotionally, was that I wasn’t sure when or where it was going to end.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 69

 

“How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?” he asked.

He waited a few minutes, but the three of us didn’t say anything. He continued: “Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 69

 

“To survive each passing day was my goal in life. At villages where we managed to find some happiness by being treated to food and fresh water, I knew it was temporary and that we were only passing through. So I couldn’t bring myself to be completely happy. It was much easier to be sad than to go back and forth between emotions, and this gave me the determination I needed to keep moving. I was never disappointed, since I always expected the worst to happen.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 69

 

“I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 70

 

“Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 70

 

“How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 70

 

“We danced and laughed into the morning. But gradually we stopped. It was as if we all knew that we could be happy for only a brief moment.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 73

 

“Some nights the sky wept stars that quickly floated and disappeared into the darkness before our wishes could meet them. ”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 80

 

“My teeth became sour as I listened to his story. It was then that I understood why he was quiet all the time.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 80

 

“At night it felt as if we were walking with the moon. It followed us under thick clouds and waited for us at the other end of dark forest paths. It would disappear with sunrise but return again, hovering on our path. Some nights the sky wept stars that quickly floated and disappeared into the darkness before our wishes could meet them. Under these stars I used to hear stories, but now it seemed as if it was the sky that was telling us a story as its stars fell, violently colliding with each other. The moon hid behind clouds to avoid seeing what was happening.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 80

 

“I was so happy that my mother, father, and two brothers had somehow found one another. Perhaps my mother and father have gotten back together, I thought.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 10, Page 84

 

“We all knew that we could grieve only for a short while in order to continue staying alive.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 11, Page 89

 

“I wanted to see my family, even if it meant dying with them.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 11, Page 96

 

“The branches of the trees looked as if they were holding hands and bowing their heads in prayer.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 13, Page 119

 

“My childhood had gone by without my knowing, and it seemed as if my heart had frozen.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 15, Page 126

 

“My squad was my family, my gun was my provider, and protector, and my rule was to kill or be killed.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 15, Page 127

 

“We took a bowl each and started eating. He went back into the little room, and by the time he returned to the table with his own bowl of food to eat with us, we had already finished. He was shocked and looked around to see if we had done something else with the food.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 15, Page 132

 

“I took out my grenade and put my fingers inside the pin. ‘Do you boys want this to be your last meal, or do you want to answer his question?”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 15, Page 133

 

“Most of the staff members were like that; they returned smiling after we hurt them. It was as if they had made a pact not to give up on us.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 16, Page 140

 

“This isn’t your fault, you know. It really isn’t. You’ll get through this.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 16, Page 151

 

“In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy and confusion.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 17, Page 166

 

“I only liked talking to her because I felt that she didn’t judge me for what I had been a part of; she looked at me with the same inviting eyes and welcoming smile that said I was a child.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 17, Page 166

 

“…children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings, if given a chance.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 18, Page 169

 

“We can be rehabilitated,” I would emphasize, and point to myself as an example. I would always tell people that I believe children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings, if given a chance.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 18, Page 169

 

“I was still hesitant to let myself let go, because I still believed in the fragility of happiness.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 18, Page 173

 

“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.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 18, Page 173

 

“She was wearing her white uniform and was on her way to take on other traumatized children. It must be tough living with so many war stories. I was just living with one, mine, and it was difficult, as the nightmares about what had happened continued to torment me. Why does she do it? Why do they all do it? I thought as we went our separate ways. It was the last time I saw her. I loved her but never told her.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 19, Page 181

 

“It was not easy being a soldier, but we just had to do it. I have been rehabilitated now, so don’t be afraid of me. I am not a soldier anymore; I am a child.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 20, Page 198

 

“I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I’ve come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end…”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 20, Page 199

 

“I was sad to leave, but I was also pleased to have met people outside of Sierra Leone. Because if I was to get killed upon my return, I knew that a memory of my existence was alive somewhere in the world.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 20, Page 200

 

“I knew I could never forget my past, but I wanted to stop talking about it so that I would be fully present in my new life.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 21, Page 202

 

“We had not only lost our childhood in the war but our lives had been tainted by the same experiences that still caused us great pain and sadness.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 21, Page 202

 

“Children played guessing games, telling each other whether the gun fired was an AK-47, a G3, an RPG, or a machine gun.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 21, Page 207

 

“I concluded to myself that if I were the hunter, I would shoot the monkey so that it would no longer have the chance to put other hunters in the same predicament.”

~Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Chapter 21, Page 218

 

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