Thursday, October 23, 2014

Exploration 5-Jonathan Shim

1.) A character that has meant the most to me in chapters 14-18 is Mohamed. Mohamed is one of Ismael's childhood friends that he used to do performances with back in Mattru Jong, and lived together at Mogbwemo. In chapter 18 Mohamed arrives at the center where Ismael is at, and upon seeing him, Ismael can't believe it is his friend who he hasn't seen since the beginning of the war. Once Mohamed and Ismael are finally reunited, the first thing they do is talk about there childhood, something Ismael has had trouble doing because of the memories of war that follow them. "We sat together on the stoop and briefly talked about our childhood pranks" (p.170). As soon as this encounter happens, it seems as if the arrival of someone Ismael knew before the war is able to trigger his happy memories of his childhood. Along with the arrival of his uncle, Ismael is now able to tell stories to his uncle again about the past, and his usually migraines and nightmares momentarily stop.

2.) The rehabilitation center seems to have started off to a rough start, but know, seeing the actions of Ismael and the progress he has made, I feel that is a good program to try and help ex-children soldiers. Ismael, since the start of his rehabilitation has been part of a talent show, just like the ones back home, become to spokesperson of the center making speeches for large audiences talking about child soldiers and how the rehabilitation program is working. Although he still has some trust issues, and is scared of the idea of being happy again, he seems to be making some progress that can show a promising future. If I was put in that situation, and knew that an ex-child soldier was moving into my neighborhood was moving in, I would be really nervous that they might snap one night, but knowing that they have been through a rehabilitation center would help ease the worry a little bit. I wouldn't want them to be able to have any access to any weapons though, just in case they have a nightmare and start shooting around randomly.

3.) A convention of narrative that Ismael seemed to use exceptionally well is his use of writing the memoir is the use of sense detail. Especially when he has the flashback of previous scouting missions, base raids, and when he describes his near death experience. Through the sense details Ismael really helps put the image in my head of that is going on in the book, the emotions he felt throughout his struggles, and the gruesome pain he felt.

4.) One of my favorite passages in chapters 14-18 was when in chapter 18, Ismael and his Uncle Tommy finally meet and upon the first time meeting, one of the first things his uncle says to Ismael is, "After you are done here, you can come live with me. You are my son. I don't have much, but I will give you a place to sleep, food, and my love.". Addressing Ismael as his son, I feel, gives Ismael the sense of finally having a family again, just when he felt he had no purpose to live because he didn't have a family.


  1. I completely agree with #4. It was important that Ishmael had a family to help him through hard times. Even if his Uncle Tom's children were adopted. This is a huge turning point in Ishmael's life

  2. I can see where you are coming from on answer number one. Mohamed does a great job as relating to him as friend. Ismael really trusts him because they come from the same area.


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