In A Long Way Gone, what destructive beliefs had Ishmael become addicted to?It takes many weeks before Ishmael feels comfortable with the relief workers’ refrain that these events are not his...

In A Long Way Gone, what destructive beliefs had Ishmael become addicted to?

It takes many weeks before Ishmael feels comfortable with the relief workers’ refrain that these events are not his fault.

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah is finally put into rehabilitation, but he and the other boys do not take to it easily.  The boys have been exposed to harsh drugs for so long that it is not easy for them to recover.  In addition to their physical bodies being addicted to drugs, Ishmael and his friends have become addicted to destructive behaviors and mentalities.  Ishmael had been praised by the other soldiers for his stealthy tactics during raids, and over time, Ishmael came to enjoy the praise of his elders.  The boys were taught to see their countrymen as enemies, and they were brainwashed into accepting hatred into their lives.  This hatred did not immediately leave the boys once they entered rehabilitation.  In fact, a fight breaks out at the rehabilitation center and the boys resort to the manners that they learned as child soldiers.  It takes much time before Ishmael is able to leave these behaviors and beliefs behind.

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