A Long Way Gone

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Beah’s Cassette Symbol Analysis

Beah’s Cassette Symbol Icon
Ishmael Beah carries a rap cassette with him until he joins the government army. Although he has no tape player with him, it stays in his pocket, a reminder of his boyhood and playfulness. More than once he and his friends are mistaken for rebels, and the cassette saves him: the villagers see when they play the music that they are only dealing with innocent boys. When Beah joins the army, the cassette is burned by the soldiers, and with it goes his childhood.
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Beah’s Cassette Symbol Timeline in A Long Way Gone

The timeline below shows where the symbol Beah’s Cassette appears in A Long Way Gone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
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
...were captured by villagers, and that the only thing that saved them was the rap cassette in his pocket. The chief of the village, intrigued by the music, asks after the... (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
...ocean, and has his men undress the boys. As they are doing so, Beah’s rap cassette fall out of his pockets. The chief wants to hear it, and when he does,... (full context)
Chapter 12
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...morning, they are outfitted with new clothes, and Beah’s pants are burned, with his rap cassette still in them. Beah must shake his tent mates, Sheiku and Josiah, awake and drag... (full context)
Chapter 17
Children in War Theme Icon
The Horror of War Theme Icon
Companionship, Hope, and the Self Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...him he has a nice smile. A few days later she gives him a rap cassette, making him extremely happy. She gives him a medical exam as he listens to it,... (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 goes to the hospital, and afterwards a field-worker, Leslie, buys Beah a Bob Marley cassette. Beah memorizes the lyrics so he can sing them to Esther, and Leslie teaches Beah... (full context)