Part One: My reading is going very good. I stay on top of it and enjoy A Long Way Gone because it’s a book that’s hard to put down. The House on Mango Street is a little difficult because I haven’t found an observable overall theme but I do think it’s interesting when it comes to close reading and it’s an easy read with her child like tone. I get more excited to continue A Long Way Gone because I’m following a plot and each section of reading I get to see what happens next. I actively read deeply in The House on Mango Street because there’s tons of figurative language and all sorts of fun stuff to close read for but in A Long Way Gone I struggle to pause and close read because the story just flows through my head like a suspenseful movie and I don’t want to hit pause, it breaks the scene for me. Overall I enjoy both books in their own unique way.
Part Two: Chapter 6 should be titled “No One Can Be Trusted” because the chapter begins with Beah explaining that the war has caused everyone to become afraid of him and his friends just because they are young boys. People that knew the boys from the neighborhood protected their families from them (Beah, 37).
To briefly summarize the rest of the chapter, continuing with the lack of trust, watchman of the village of Kamator attack and capture the boys because they assumed they were a treat. The boys were blamed of being associated with the rebels until the chief of Kamator found Beah’s rap tape in his pocket. A boy in the village said he recognized the boys and they gain trust. The boys get accepted and receive food and shelter in return for working on the farm. As expected the rebels eventually make it to the village. They attack and Junior is lost (Beach, 37-43).
I was familiar with every word in the chapter but a term I found significant was dullness, meaning not lively or spirited. It was used to describe Junior’s facial expression and I believe that is a symptom of experiencing the war. I could imagine it being difficult to witness countless people be brutally murdered and still have life left in you. This chapter focuses on how the war changes people’s character and dullness is one of those things.
The reoccurring conflict throughout the chapter is lack of trust and how that destroys relationships. Even people that were friends before the war “stopped trusting each other, and every stranger became an enemy” (Beah, 37). Everyone that knows the boys personally and knows they are good people, are terrified of them for no logical reason. The use of the word enemy emphasizes deep hatred and it’s sad because that stranger could be the kindest person you’ve ever met. Everyone has experienced the same thing and could all come together, supporting each other but they’re negative emotions cause them to do the opposite. The relationship between the boys is also becoming torn because they don’t speak to one another because they are so depressed and in disbelief of what is happening. Lack of trust tears relationships apart, providing no room for growth.