Monday, November 11, 2013

Fish Bowl #1: A Long Way Gone, Chapters 1 and 2

Welcome to your first A Long Way Gone fish bowl!

A few reminders if you're looking for an A for the day:

(A) Bring at least one quotation and/or page reference into at least one of your responses.
(B) Explain your thinking thoughtfully and thoroughly (try to avoid the one-sentence response).
(C) Keep it professional, including the usage of proper grammar and spelling.
(D) Comment frequently from the beginning of the conversation to the end.


Remember also that you're welcome to get into a hot seat in the inner circle for a little while and earn some of your daily participation points there.

90 comments:

  1. What does it symbolize when he says,"I can feel the warmth of my AK-47's barrel on my back; I don't remember when I last fired it." when he was telling his dream? Why is the barrel warm but he doesn't kn ow when he fired it?

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    1. Maybe it symbolizes that he doesn't know the last time he has felt normal or seen his family

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    2. This may show that the war is so traumatic he may be pushing these memories of hurting others so he doesn't have to remember these bad things.

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    3. Well considering that he becomes a boy soldier later on in the book, I think it's saying that he's fired his gun so much he doesn't even remember. I also think it can symbolize that warfare is filled with violence and everyone get to a point where you have fired your gun so much that it becomes a vague memory.

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  2. On pg. 16 it says "We must strive to be like the moon." What do you think this means? How do you think it will relate to Ishmael?

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  3. When he says," I didnt know if it was day or night" what do you think the day and night represents?

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    1. I think it means in his dream there is no day or night. All you see is him and the wheelbarrow with himself in it.

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  4. On page 16 what exactly does this quote mean. “We must strive to be like the moon.”

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    1. It means that the moon is always bright and it makes people happy. We must strive to be happy and make others feel happy when we are around them. The moon also represents a connection into Ishmael's past because he looks at the shapes on the moon and they remind him of the past.

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    2. I think that it means that they need to try and be more like a likable figure, the gradnma says it mean to be on your best behavior.

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  5. Is the dream on page 18 and 19 significant to Ishmael's life? and how do you think it will affect his future later on in the book.

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    1. I believe the dream is very significant to Ishmael because it shows us glimpse of the war and of what is going on where Ishmael is. Also, I think it will affect him in the future because I believe that his dream will become a reality later on in the book except for the part that when looks at himself.

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  6. “These days I live in three worlds, my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past.” pg 20. Based off of Carter talking about dreams, I think that part of the book will be based on the struggle of Ishmael dealing with his dreams and the effects of them.

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  7. How do you think that a child, such as Ishmael can totally lose control of his life and act as if he is an emotionless robot?

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    1. One could infer that he has been brainwashed by the rebel group to not be sensitive to harsh acts. He has been desensitized by the rebels.

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  8. On page 18 it says "Their arms and legs are missing their intestines spill out through the bullet holes in their stomachs; brain matter comes out of their noses and ears. Why do you think this boy is looking at these dead people not freaking out? How is he keeping his cool when he is only 6 years old?

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    1. I think that he might be under the influence of some sort of drugs because it also says that he can't feel physical pain. I think whoever gave him the Ak-47 is controlling him through the use of drugs and violence.

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    2. He may have already seen so many bad things by this point in his life, these may not seem that bad to him.

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  9. I believe that the dream is a foreshadowing for the war and sadness that will come later in the book. It is his own body and we know that by, "I am looking at my own." I think that a great war with children will occur because he talks about the warm barrel of an AK-47 upon his belly.

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  10. I really enjoy the voice of the main character it seems relateable

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  11. I think that the river represent like crossing over to other villages. Also, The river could represent like peace for him before all of the bad stuff occurs.

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  12. "These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past." p.20 what is this quote saying

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  13. On pg. 20 it says, “These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past”. So do you think this dream he had, was actually a memory? And how do you think we will see these “three worlds” later in the book?

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    1. I think it might be a memory that we have not encountered, but instead of looking at himself, it will be someone that is close to him. Such as a friend or a family member. I also think we will see all "three worlds" later in this book.

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  14. I think that the animals helps him regain his peace and relax from the war

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  15. I believe that the dream he has is foreshadowing, of the war that is going to happen later in the book. He says " the breeze brings the faint cries of those who take their last breath from their mangled bodies" this i think will be a common sight throughout the book since this is about war

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  16. I agree with what Tony said when he said that the music and songs of birds resemble peace and happiness. The references to rap ceased when a sad and horrific chapter was read.

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  17. On page 16, An old man in Kabati was repeating, " We must strive be like the moon." What does this mean? How does the Moon strive? How would striving like the moon be good for situation.

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  18. I enjoy the setting is described there are times when it is peaceful and also times when its horrific.

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  19. Was his dream providing a clue for the later story?

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    1. I think that it might be showing how graphic this war is, and how Ishmael has to deal with these horrific things.

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    2. I think that this book will be Ishmael having flashbacks about his time in Sierra Leone. I think like we saw on page 20 that this book will be about Ishmael trying to forget, and make up for what he did in his past.

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    3. I think it is a type of foreshadow of what comes later in the future.

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  20. what is he talking about in this quote "It wasn't until refugees started passing through our town that we began to see that it was actually taking place in our country." p.5

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    1. He is talking about all of the people who's towns were attacked and this made him realize that the rebels were actually real and that the war was true and all of the stories were true because of the refugees.

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  21. On page 17 Ishmael says, "Whenever I get a chance to observe the moon now, I still see those same images I saw when I was six, and it pleases me to know that part of my childhood is still embedded in me." Does this foreshadow that Ishmael will never be able to escape his past?

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  22. In this book the moon seems to play almost a supernatural role in everyone's life, why is the sun such a magical thing and why would be want to be like the moon?

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    1. I think that in this book the sun represents the bad things that go on in Ishmael's life, and the moon may represent something more peaceful.

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  23. It also deems that the protagonist has deep thoughts and somewhat suffers from them.

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  24. Do you think rap helps him keep his mind off the gory images?

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    1. Rap allows him to be a normal child for the moment that he is listening to the song.

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    2. I dont think it gets the images out of his head, but the music does help him deal with what is going on.

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    3. I think rap does take his mind off of all of it because it reminds him of and easier time and dancing with his friends.

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    4. I think it does help him because he takes his anger away and raps to calm him self

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  25. I think that his dream was not a foreshadow because he is burring himself but i do think that the people in the wheel barrow are the people that he killed. I also don't think this is real because of how unrealistic it was with things like "I don't remember when i last fired my rifle"(18) or i don't know if I'm injured i can not feel pain."(18) i think he cannot remember the pain or anything because it is a dream so it cannot be foreshadowing because of how unreal it is

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    1. Just because it seems unreal and is a dream doesn't mean it can't foreshadow because when he says he doesn't know when he last fired his rifle, that may be because he is so traumatized he can't remember or he doesn't want to because if he does then it will bring back bad memories from when he killed those people

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  26. What do you think it symbolizes on page 18 when he says, "My tattered crapes are soaked with blood, which seems to be running down my army shorts." The author put this in the book for a reason why do you think he did?

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    1. The author puts this in the book because earlier it talked about how Ishmael's shoes were clean and stuffed to give a more gangsta look. Now they are soaked in blood. The author does this to show an abrupt change in Ishmael's life.

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  27. I dont think the sun will affect them later in the book rather than just getting hot. I think they will always praise the sun and look at it the way they do know other than if it just gets hot. The sun will be a symbol through the book

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  28. Do you think that ishmael seeing the refugees helped him realize how violent the war was?

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  29. I think the sun is significant because it represents hot days of labor and work like when he mentioned carrying dead bodies.

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  30. What does it mean, when he says "To strive to be like the moon," (Pg. 17)? Is he saying to be peaceful and harmless like the moon? Giving off a little light, not to shine as bright as the son so that you're not so big? Or is he saying to give off light from the sun. Living behind someone to give show yourself?

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  31. How does nature play a role in the book so far? It mentions a lot about bushes and trees.

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    1. The topography effects the book because the forests are dense and they might effect how the rebels attack each city.

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  32. "we should strive like the moon"p 17, I really feel like there is a lot of symbolism behind these words and even though they elude me, I am intrigued by them

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  33. I think that Ishmeal is having flashback dreams from when he was younger because I do not see a reason to leave his home country except for war, disease, or starvation. On page 19 Ishmeal states, "and I tried to think about my new life in New York City."

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  34. It is very possible that later in the book he gets attacked and is severely hurt, it is a miracle that he even made it out of being a boy solider at all and i dont think that you can come out of something like that and not have been attacked or severely hurt

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  35. When he is in the dream he is barring his own body. Do you guys think that later in the book he might be injured and close to death? But do you think that this represent that he has the chose to give up and Barry himself or keep on fighting?

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  36. I think the son is so significant because it shows how long and hard these days are for him. At first it was good thing, but ow it is a bad thing.

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    1. I think that the sun also symbolizes how Sierra Leone is. That the country is under extreme pressure (heat), because the people have been split into two sides either they join the rebels or the government.

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  37. Why does he make the decision to return to mugwembo when it is raided by the resistance and even though he knows, he still makes the decision to return to try and scavenge some supplies.

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  38. I do not think that he is putting it behind him because it would be extremely hard to just forget all of that and just move on. You might try to move on but its not going to come that quickly.

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  39. I am wondering if he will tell us the full story with him and the rusty wheelbarrow, because it is obviously a painful memory that he is experiencing and I am curious if he will tell of the full thing.

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  40. Can a human ever truly forget their past?

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    1. I don't think that they can forget their past especially one as traumatic as this one but I think that with time they can move on

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  41. Do you think that Ismael seeing his own face dead in the dream may represent anything that we may see later?

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    1. I think this shows us that he sees himself already dead. Not physically dead, but he is mentally dead. He is trained now to kill and not feel pain. I think this shows us he has no mercy for anything else in the world.

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  42. I feel that there is a constant fear that presents itself in this novel, and I think that is what makes me read on

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  43. On page 13, it says " I will get you to the hospital, my boy, and everything will be fine." Why does Ishmael tell us this man was saying this? Even though he says the boy is dead?

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  44. Ishmael has images in his mind that he will never forget. I see him as a family man who will put his life in hands to protect his people. He says "when I see all these dead body's I see my own." (pg18) By this he means that he sees himself as he sees the people of his country. This quote was also giving a reference that he was dreaming. In his dream he was dreaming of the war and the images he had seen across the river. When he says "I saw myself" he is seeing himself as a soldier in this blood spilled war.

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  45. On chapter 2, the author begins to talk about an experience he had with a rival group on a soccer field. He said, "We opened fire until the last living being in the other group fell to the ground." As the story continues, the author speaks of how they killed everyone and then they started to high five and sit on the bodies. Has this become a game to Ishmael at this point? In his dream it seem that it was devastating to his mental state but in the soccer field story, it seemed like it wasn't as bad for him in the beginning.

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  46. on pg. 12, it is very hard to tell when war might hit there village, or anywhere around them. They go about there daily lifes as if nothing is wrong and when this warfare suddenly breaks out people panic and get confused. It just shows how fast situations can change.

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  47. I think the sun and the moon are going to be significant later in the book to represent the good and evil of Ishmeal's life. As a reader you have to decide whether the sun represents the good and the moon represents the evil or opposite. In his dream he doesn't know whether it's night or day so maybe the message is no matter where you are and what time of the day you will still find good or evil. In this case evil happened.

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  48. On page 20 he says "anxiously waiting for daylight so that I could fully return to my new life." What is his new life?, and does this have anything to do with the sun symbolizing anything?

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  49. I feel like Ishmeal and Amir are similar in a way because they are both young boys, growing up with war and another force taking their home family over. Also both will or have lived in America at some point in time.

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  50. Do you think that he will ever be-able to get away from the violence, with himself or with someone?

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  51. I think that death acts as a motif in this story, and even though it is still early in the book I feel it will surly continue throughout the book.

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  52. "Why are you so skinny" - question from there grandmother that him and his brother avoid to answer. they avoid it because they don't want to worry her with a problem like that, and they dont want to cause any more problems. It just goes to show how family can be stuck out through the war and how important it is to survive with them

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  53. How do you think Ishmael's relationships with others will change as we move on in the book?

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  54. Do you think the wheelbarrow is a symbol?

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  55. On page 15 "Junior, Talloi, and I try and listen to rap music and memorize their lyrics. Do you think listening to music is soothing and helps think of the positive instead of the negative going on around them?

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  56. On page 18, it says "I feel no physical pain, so I am not sure whether I've been wounded. I can feel the warmth of my AK-47's barrel on my back; I don't remember when i last fired it. It feels as if needles have been hammered into my brain, and it's hard to be sure whether it is day or night."
    Even though this is a dream, he does not seem connected to reality. He can not tell whether the sun is out or not so this is making me think he is on drugs. When he says that he can not feel physical pain it makes me wonder if he knows where, when, or who he is. The people who gave him the AK-47 are probably using this to control him and make him violent.

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  57. I think that it is just him because in the firs chapter he says "we didn't know that we were leaving home, never to return."(7) so i do not think that he is going to ever see his family again, especially since in the heroes journey the hero usually loses part of his family.

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  58. I think that another part of the dream when he says " I can feel the warmth of my AK-47's barrel on my back" on pg 18. I think it is very possible that he was responsible for some of the carnage that he is seeing in his dream, all the dead bodies and blood and guts.

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  59. I am wondering what will happen next for them? Will they be caught by the rebellion and made boy soldiers, or will they escape a harsh fate yet again? I think they will come close at some point but they will see another brighter day, but since it is stories of a boy soldier I believe that he will be captured.

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  60. I agree with Gaven because war for him will never be forget-ed because it such a dramatic even that will scar him forever

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  61. On page 18, the author writes, "I dont remember the last time I fired my rifle"and he also says " I feel no physical pain so I'm not sure I'm wounded." What is causing he to feel this way?

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    1. He feels that way because he is in a dream and you cant feel pain in the the dream. I do believe it symbolizes something, it symbolizes how at some point in his life he will not feel pain because he is going to be on drugs due to being a child soldier.

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  62. On page 7 it says, "We didn't know that we were leaving home, never to return." When he says this, he foreshadows that from there on he will never be the same, from that point on his life is going to be miserable. Also, when he says this I think that they will never return home because they will be kidnapped and be turned into a boy soldier.

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