A Long Way Gone

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Junior Character Analysis

Beah’s brother, who accompanies Beah for the first part of his journey. Although Beah and Junior were once close, the terrible things they see makes it difficult for each to support, or even talk to, the other. They are eventually separated during a rebel attack on a village where they have taken refuge, and never see each other again.

Junior Quotes in A Long Way Gone

The A Long Way Gone quotes below are all either spoken by Junior or refer to Junior . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Children in War Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Farrar, Strauss and Giroux edition of A Long Way Gone published in 2007.
Chapter 5 Quotes

We were so hungry that it hurt to drink water and we felt cramps in our guts. It was as though something were eating the insides of our stomachs. Our lips became parched and our joints weakened and ached.

Related Characters: Ishmael Beah (speaker), Junior , Talloi , Khalilou , Gibrilla , Kaloko
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

As the war sweeps across the country, Beah and his companions are forced to do anything to survive. The stakes are incredibly high: they need to find food of some kind, or else they'll starve to death. Ishmael comes close to starving on several occasions. In this passage, for instance, he's so hungry that he can barely drink water--the feeling of water passing through his body makes his empty stomach hurt. The book is full of gruesome descriptions like the one in the passage--descriptions of human suffering that go far beyond anything a child should have to endure. Beah's purpose, in describing his pain so vividly, seems to be purgative: by writing about his past, he gains some control over his traumatic experiences.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other A Long Way Gone quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

We decided to leave the village the next day and go somewhere safe, somewhere far away from where we were. We had no idea where we would go or even how to get to a safe place, but we were determined to find one.

Related Characters: Ishmael Beah (speaker), Junior , Talloi , Khalilou , Gibrilla , Kaloko
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

The boys have endured a great deal of danger and fear so far. Their families have been hurt, and their village has been largely destroyed, due to the war in Sierra Leone. In this passage, Beah and his peers have managed to escape from a group of dangerous rebels. While they've been hanging around the area where they were born and live, they decide that there's no point in staying there any longer.

The passage reinforces the fact that Beah's hometown is no longer a safe place. For a long time, Beah thought of the war as a faraway event, irrelevant to his own life. But now that the war has come to his own village, Beah has no choice but to keep moving--everything he had previously taken for granted has been lost.

Chapter 6 Quotes

Being in a group of six boys was not to our advantage… People were terrified of boys our age. Some had heard rumors about young boys being forced by rebels to kill their families and burn their villages.

Related Characters: Ishmael Beah (speaker), Junior , Talloi , Khalilou , Gibrilla , Kaloko
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Beah and his companions are trying to find safety. They're not affiliated with any rebels--they just want to be somewhere out of danger. And yet because they're a fairly large group, villagers distrust them. The villagers have heard that the rebels train boys to shoot their own families, as well as strangers.

The passage foreshadows some of the actions that the soldiers of the civil war will force Beah and his peers to perform. For now, though, Beah regards it as bizarre that the villagers would think him capable of killing anybody--he's still just a kid, far removed from doing harm of any kind to other people. It's also worth noting that despite the risks, the boys still stay together--companionship and a sense of human connection is sometimes more important than erring on the side of safety.

This was one of the consequences of civil war. People stopped trusting each other, and every stranger became an enemy. Even people who knew you became extremely careful about how they related or spoke to you.

Related Characters: Ishmael Beah (speaker), Junior , Talloi , Khalilou , Gibrilla , Kaloko
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Beah's book is about his own personal experiences in the war in Sierra Leone. And yet at times, Beah writes about the country as a whole, and how civil war tore it apart. One longterm consequence of the war was that people stopped trusting each other: once they saw how evil other human beings could act, they stopped being so faithful to their neighbors and friends. The people of Sierra Leone were desperate--they wanted to survive, and sometimes survival meant hurting or killing other people. After the war, it's suggested, the population of the country was deeply disillusioned with itself and with humanity in general: as a result, people became less generous, less friendly, and less trusting.

Chapter 10 Quotes

I longed for the gentle, dark, and shiny old hands of my grandmother; my mother’s tight enclosed embrace, during the times I visited her, as if hiding and protecting me from something; my father’s laughter when we played soccer together and when he sometimes chased me in the evening with a bowl of cold water to get me to take a shower; my older brother’s arms around me when we walked to school and when he sometimes elbowed me to stop me from saying things I would regret; and my little brother, who looked exactly like me and would sometimes tell people that his name was Ishmael when he did something wrong.

Related Characters: Ishmael Beah (speaker), Junior , Beah’s Mother , Beah’s Father , Beah’s Younger Brother , Beah’s Grandmother
Page Number: 71-72
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Beah and his peers arrive at a village that treats the boys with kindness and hospitality. Beah is offered a delicious feast, and afterwards, overcome by the good experience, he remembers his relationship with his grandmother, his mother, his brothers, and his father. Happiness, it's suggested, triggers more happiness: when Beah has a happy experience at the village feast, he's reminded of the other happy moments in his life.

The passage conveys both joy and despair. Beah's memories of his family members fill him with happiness, and yet they also remind him of his present misery: he is separated not only from his family but from his entire community, and seemingly from the promise of more lasting happiness in the future.

Get the entire A Long Way Gone LitChart as a printable PDF.
A long way gone.pdf.medium

Junior Character Timeline in A Long Way Gone

The timeline below shows where the character Junior appears in A Long Way Gone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
...hometown, Mogbwemo, in south-east Sierra Leone, for the day. He is going with his brother Junior and friend Talloi to Mattru Jong, a town sixteen miles to the east, to dance... (full context)
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
The next day Beah, Junior and Talloi, who are staying at their friend’s, are surprised when their friends return early... (full context)
Chapter 3
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
Nature  Theme Icon
...the backs of their adrenaline Beah notes that he didn’t get tired or even sweat. Junior calls out for Beah, trying to make sure he is still nearby, and Beah can... (full context)
Chapter 5
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...that they will be taking recruits. The rebels look over the boys, and pick only Junior. A rebel announces that everyone else will be killed to make the new recruits strong.... (full context)
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
...an hour, and then can hear the whispering of the other boys who escaped, including Junior. The boys begin walking toward the village they’d initially gone to after Mattru Jong was... (full context)
Chapter 6
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
Nature  Theme Icon
...looks dull and that the trees sway hesitantly. In the next village, Beah looks to Junior, hoping that he will speak of what is troubling him, but all he gets is... (full context)
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
Beah remembers when Junior tried to teach him how to skip a stone on a river. Coming back from... (full context)
Chapter 7
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
...who tells him, with great pain, about the imam. But they do not find Gibrilla, Junior, Talloi or Khalilou. Beah despairs that he will lose everyone, and remembers his father’s blessing,... (full context)
Chapter 9
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...is thinking of being thrown into the ocean, and is not dancing with his brother, Junior. But the chief begins to relax, and starts to understand he really is just dealing... (full context)