Esther has to be the character that meant the most to other than Ishmael. Even though she isn’t apart of the book for long. As Ismael falls in love with her, it hard to be the reader and not fall in love with her. Her persistence with him is admirable, she never gives up on him. “.....When I finished telling Esther the story, she had tears in her eyes and she couldn’t decide whether to rub my head of hug me. In the end she did neither, but said, ‘None of what happened to you was your fault. You were just a little boy, and anytime you want to tell me anything, I am here to listen” (Beah, 159-160). There were a few times where Esther had put up with him and his inability to work with her and here she is getting him to open up, after he shares the story it shows how she really does care for Beah and what he has gone through. She still is trying to instill in him that it isn’t his fault and one day her hard work finally pays off as he then feels like it wasn’t his fault. It took a lot of determination from my favorite character Esther to give Beah the opportunity to live the life he is living today.
I feel Ishmael's rehabilitation is extraordinary it really worked out smoothly for the most part. Yes he was resisting at first but over time he really started to develop back into a great functioning person in society. There were other cases such a Mumba who went back into the action and I would hope that after being out they would at least say they don’t want to live that life. I really like the question of “Would you want Ishmael to live in your neighborhood?” It really gets me thinking. I would say I would be fine with him living in my neighborhood now, If he can write this book it shows how far he has come to over come everything and he has regained himself. If we weren’t given the opportunity to know him in this way through the book I wouldn’t want him to live by me knowing he could snap at anytime and having many prejudices against him and not knowing him on a personal level to know he has recovered.
One of my favorite parts I found in my active reading was when Beah used personification to really bring the a scene to life, along with a simile that really makes it good writing. “We took the guns and ammunition off the bodies of my friends and left them there in the forest, which has taken on a life of its own, as if it had trapped the souls that had departed from the dead. THe branches of the trees look as if they were holding hands and bowing their heads in prayer” (Beah, 119).
There was one passage that really struck me. I highlighted it in all the colors I had, as the most grabbing part of the book. “I shot them on their feet and watched them suffer for an entire day before finally shooting them in the head so that they would stop crying. Before I shot each man, I looked at him and saw how his eyes gave up hope and steadied before I pulled the trigger. I found their somber eyes irritating” (Beah, 159). This struck me in such a way of good writing but also so gruesome that it left me with a chill. While also trying to hold onto hope for him as this is what he had become, a person that was ok with doing something like that. I can’t imagine having done that then reflecting upon it many years later and being truthful and writing it as clearly as that. There are so many good places in the book but this one really grabbed me.