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A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

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Logan Skinner

Ms. Stefanski

Gifted English II

23 October 2017

A Long Way Gone

        Can pathos, ethos, and logos be the main factors in developing a theme? In A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a theme of a loss of innocence. Ishmael Beah was a gentle soul who suddenly and uncontrollably had his innocence stripped away from him. His emotions, credibility, and logic of his childhood is told through this memoir and develops the theme.

        To begin, Ishmael Beah had a rough and emotional childhood. At the young age of twelve years old, Beah was separated from his family as he fled from the rebels who attacked his home land of Sierra Leone. He was then recruited by the government army and was forced to commit terrible acts he had never thought possible of himself. He was the cruel murderer of many during his time in the army as a child soldier, as a result of strict order and drug addiction. Pathos contributes to this part of developing the theme through his emotion. Because of this war, ruthless killing, and constant cocaine abuse Ishmael was emotionally damaged. He was essentially scarred for life because of these acts that he committed. Ishmael truly became almost a psychopath emotionally. For example, he states “We had been fighting for over two years, and killing had become a daily activity. I felt no pity for anyone.” This really is just a prime example of the emotional damage he had received from fighting as a child soldier in this war.

        Secondly, the other main thing attributing to the theme is ethos. Ishamel certainly has credibility in this. He lived through this. He murdered people. He did it with no pity and had a first-hand experience as a child solider. He documents some of these in the memoir. For example, he says “Every time I stopped shooting to change magazines and saw my two young lifeless friends, I angrily pointed my gun into the swamp and killed more people.” He watched friends be murdered right before his very eyes. He most certainly has the credibility which contributes to this theme through ethos. He is the most credible individual you could have. He lived through the harsh life of a child soldier.

        Finally, logos also contributes to the theme of the book. Ishmael Beah has logic about these tragic events he lived through. He uses logic in all aspects of the memoir by telling his story. He uses his logic when he thinks about these situations and experiences that he somehow lived through. Logos is definitely one of the main developers of the theme in this memoir. He had logic throughout the whole entire book and through every interaction in it. He made logical decisions while he had his innocence ripped away from him.

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