Being in a group of six boys



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Ch 6

  • Why is “being in a group of six boys” dangerous?
  • How did rap and a stranger save the boys in this situation?
  • How is the war affecting the brother’s relationship?
  • Why did the boys go to Kamator?
  • What is farming like for the “lazy town boys”?
  • What “left marks” on the boys?
  • What was the farm work eventually considered futile?
  • What is foreshadowed by chapter 6’s final statement?

Chapter 7

  • Vocab.: imam, sura, hearsay
  • What does Beah seem to miss most about his former life?
  • What sentence exemplifies Beah’s decision to leave the swamp? “I became frustrated with living in fear”.
  • Why has the war “destroyed the enjoyment of the very experience of meeting people”?
  • Beah notes several times that he is twelve during this time. In your opinion, does he resemble a NB 12 year old? How?
  • Describe what the country was like during this time and his experience in the deserted towns.

Chapter 8

  • Vocab.: vicinity, “paralyzed with fear”, prefect, machete, photographic memory
  • What are some of Beah’s fears while alone in the forest? Are these fears justifiable or a product of the war?
  • What “words become the vehicle that draw [Beah’s] spirit forward and made us feel alive”? Who was it that gave Beah these motivational words?
  • How long was he alone in the forest? How does Beah distinguish tribes from one another? Comment: “Our innocence had been replaced by fear and we had become monsters”.

Chapter 9

  • What is the boys’ first impression of the Atlantic Ocean?
  • What goodness does Beah see in this situation? “Even in the middle…at this sight” (59).
  • Comment: “In every possible one of the 18 local languages that each of us knew” (60).
  • Why did Beah surrender? What experience did he have that the other boys did not?
  • Once again, how does rap save Beah?
  • Listen to: Naughty by Nature’s “OPP” and LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” (pp 67-68).

Start Research Assignment Topics:

Research Project

  • Your task: Teach the class about your topic as it relates to A Long Way Gone (minimum 3 minutes).
  • Present to the class a visual representation of your topic.
  • Write an essay that explains your topic and its relevance to the book. 500 words. MLA.
  • Both pieces should:
  • Effectively teach the rest of the class about your topic. Consider making your project visual and informative.
  • Due the

Ch 10

  • What does Beah say was “unsettling” about his journey?
  • Would you say that Beah becomes accustomed to his temporary lifestyle? Provide evidence for your response.
  • What metaphor does he use to describe his journey?
  • What important question does Saidu ask? How does this realization affect Beah? (70)
  • Provide evidence that Beah and his companions were able to find normalcy in small things. (70)
  • What is Bra Spider?
  • Describe the “name-giving ceremony” (75 – 76).
  • How had each boy become separated from his family? (79)
  • Why do you think the noisiness of the town shock the boys? Provide evidence.
  • Find the quotation that best illustrates Beah’s youth.

Ch. 11, 12

  • At this point in the journey where do the boys find hope?
  • Provide evidence of an example of personification used by the narrator. (98)
  • What feelings are provoked in Beah when he witnesses a “grown man cry” such as Gasemu?
  • What is Beah’s first impression of Yele?
  • How has Shakespeare played an important role in Beah’s life?
  • How does the lieutenant convince them to stay and fight?
  • Is it shocking to hear that the boys received “soldier” uniforms that are clothes from Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc.
  • What is symbolic about Beah losing the tapes?
  • How effectively are the boys trained for combat? What are your thoughts on the boy soldiers?

13, 14

  • Choose a quotation from chapter 13 that you felt poignant as you read. Explain why it is important to either the plot, character or explanation of events in the book as well as why this particular scenario was important to you as you read.
  • Why do you think Beah notices the dead boys t-shirt out of all the chaos? (119)
  • How has the situation he is in changed him personality? (ch 14)
  • How do the war films and drugs disorient the boy soldiers? (122, 124)

15

  • “In my head my life was normal. But everything began to change in the last weeks of January 1996” (126). What device is the author using in this quotation? What daily activities is his life about to change from?
  • Who was responsible for turning Beah over to the people with UNICEF?
  • Beah says: “I hadn’t parted with my gun since the day I became a soldier” (130). How does this comment explain his feelings in becoming ‘free’?
  • Why do you think the boys react in a fight between the rebel boys and the army boys? What saying from his commander does Beah recollect?

16, 17

  • Explain, in your own words, why you think Beah was so resistant to help from “civilians”. Write an expository paragraph explaining his transition.
  • Beah has explained that he has a photographic memory. Explain how this both aids him and hinders him in life.
  • Why don’t the boys realize the danger they are in?
  • Why do you think Beah tells his story at the centre at the same time as his war years?
  • How does the lieutenant coerce Beah into shooting the men?

18-19

  • How does Beah impress the visitor’s and convince them that rehabilitation is possible?
  • What is considered “repatriated”? (171)
  • What does Beah mean by the “fragility of happiness” (173)?
  • On page 181, Beah explains that he thinks that Esther “has it rough” because she hears more than one war story. What does this say about Beah and empathy?
  • What does he realize he needs to adjust to on p 182?
  • What difficulties does he face in getting a passport and adjusting to Freetown and later to NYC?

20 -21

  • What is Beah’s only point of reference for “winter”? Why is this?
  • Why does his NYC trip feel “like something that happened in [his] mind”?
  • What memories does Beah have of his early education? How did his experience differ from yours?
  • Why do the boys feel “tainted” in the new school?
  • How is the new President given power?
  • What juxtaposes Koromo’s message that “everything was in order”?
  • How does Beah exhibit empathy for the people of Freetown? (206)
  • What was Beah’s largest fear in staying In Sierra Leone at this time?
  • How much did it cost to leave Sierra Leone?
  • Why does Beah end the story with the story about the monkey?

Final Thoughts

  • What do you think of the telling of this story? Remember, Beah has been brought up under the oral tradition, which has an effect on his writing.
  • Do you feel Beah has told you his full story?
  • What do you think should and should not be included in a memoir?
  • Are you satisfied with this story? Why or why not?
  • Read “Chronology” and paraphrase the history of Sierra Leone.
  • WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve42DWluB8A&feature=related

Reminders:

  • Definitions and questions for homework and classwork marks.
  • 10 Response Journals Due February 29th
  • Research Project Presentation on March 1st.
  • Essay Due on March 2nd.
  • Final Test: February 28th.
  • Your Personal Memoir written March 12th—16th.
  • Please return books ASAP (Feb 29th).


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