Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Final Fishbowl: A Long Way Gone, Chapters 20 and 21

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 hotseat in the inner circle for a little while and earn some of your daily participation points there.


Enjoy!

98 comments:

  1. On pg. 218 the final paragraph says, "When I was seven I had an answer to this question that made sense to me. I never discussed it with anyone, though, for fear of how my mother would feel. I concluded to myself that if I were the hunter, I would shoot the monkey so that it would no longer have the chance to put the hunters in the same predicament." What do you think this means, and what do you think it symbolizes?

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    1. This is a metaphor for Ishmael's time in the war, it represents the fact that Ishmael is doing what he can so that other children don't have to experience the war like he did.

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    2. It means that he wants to make sure that if he gets the opportunity to help others that are/were in the same situations that he was, he will do everything he can to help them and keep it from happening again. On page 198 he talks about wanting to help, "It seemed we were transforming our sufferings as we talked about ways to solve their causes and let them be known to the world." He already wants to help.

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    3. I think that this is connecting to when he is in the war and I also think that he is not thinking about killing monkeys but I think he is talking about killing people so that they cannot kill you. I think that this symbolizes survival.

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    4. When Ishmael says this at the end of chapter 21, he is telling us that he would be able to take on the responsibility of killing the monkey and sacrificing one of his parents because he believes he is strong enough to deal with the pain and he would do it so that others don't wouldn't have too. He is willing to do something that others aren't willing to do, which makes him a HERO.

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  2. Why do you think Ishmaels is so shocked about America? What do you think his perception of America was before he came?

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    1. His thought of NY was complete violence because of rap lyrics. When he saw how nice it actually was, it surprised him?

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    2. He had no idea what to expect outside of what he's heard from music he listened to. He thought that it would only be about things like gangs and violence because that's all he had the capability of learning about.

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  3. Who drew that cat on the chalkboard?

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  4. On page 195 what does Dr. Tamba mean when he says,"When you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do."

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    1. Its a metaphor, because on this scene, Ishmael began to want some home food, but this quote basically told him to eat what Americans eat, being in America

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    2. I think what he is trying to say is when you are in some other country you do as what they do. You eat what they eat, you live how they live and don't try to change that.

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    3. When you are in America, eat American food. That is why Ishmael wants his traditional homeland soup, not bacon or American food.

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  5. On pg. 194 it says, " The city glittered, and I was so completely overwhelmed the I couldn't decide where to look." After coming from a place where there were large amounts of poverty how do you think he feels about going so far up to the city, which is more different from his home.

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  6. I feel like he feel a connection between all the people because they had gone through similar things as him and he could feel less alone.

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  7. "My conception of New York City came from rap music. I envisioned it as a place where people shot each other on the street and got away with it; no one walked on the streets, rather people drove in their sports cars looking for nightclubs and for violence." How do you think this shows how imagined New York City to what it actually is? DO you think that he likes New York better then his home country?

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    1. I think that he does like New York city but it is different from how he pictured it. The only things he knew about New York while he was in Africa came from rap songs that described the more violent side of the city. I think that once Ishmael had arrived to NYC he was almost relieved to see it wasn't violent, he had already been a part of enough violence.

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  8. On page 194, do you think Ishmael didn't like america because of the snow? Also what do you think he though of the snow?

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    1. I don't think Ishmael hates America because of the snow but he has never even herd of snow because they never discussed it Sierra Leon.

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    2. I don't think that he didn't like it because of the snow, but he wasn't used to it and it would take him a long time to get used to it. He was surprised and annoyed by the change of climate.

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    3. He doesn't hate the snow but clearly he doesn't like the cold. Sierra Leone is very close to the equator so it is very hot year round.

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  9. Do you guys think that he thinks the whole world is like Newyork?

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    1. I think he believes the world is as his rap music says its like because New York was different but his rap music gave him a different view.

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    2. No to him he thinks New York City is a peaceful place, that allows him to think and move on.

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    3. No because he was born and raised in Sierre Leone but i think he is shocked on how it turned out to be.

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  10. On page 199, Ishmael states "What I have learned from my experiences is that revenge is not good." How does revenge play a role in the book?

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    1. I think it plays a pretty big role because as a child soldier in the army Ishmael's leaders told him that the rebels killed their families and destroyed their villages so it makes them want to get revenge. Every time he kills a rebel he is thinking in the back of his head that the rebel he just killed might have been the one who killed his family or burned down his house. It makes him a lot more vicious and brutal and just a ruthless killer.

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    2. When Ishmael was in the army he wanted to kill the rebels because he was told they were the ones that killed his family. He wants revenge for what they had done to him, and when the rebels do this to other kids, they want the same thing, revenge on who killed his family.

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    3. Revenge was one of the main causes of him first accepting his life as a soldier. He would have been miserable and incapable of conforming to the inhumanity of war, and maybe would have died in the fighting because of that. Every time he killed a rebel, he thought of his dead family, fueling his desires to get revenge and fueling the violence that sprouted within him.

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    4. We see him motivated to harm people because of what has happened to him in the past. He lost his family, and was forced to do horrible tasks and drugs. He was also on drugs which really made him kill, and seek revenge.

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  11. I dont think they will ever not fear him because they are arrogant and have no idea what they are talking about

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    1. Good word choice, " arrogant" Have a great day Patrick

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  12. I imagine that he will go through some kind of depression, but he has seen worse, and will power through this.

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  13. “They had run so far away from the war, only to be caught back in it. There is nowhere to go from here.”
    (pg. 207; Ishmael has this thought when war comes to Freetown.)
    this shows how traped in all of it he really is that he has lost a lot but in this its all kind of caved in on him in a way

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    1. Everything turned for the worse in this situation, but he still fought to survive and he never stopped fighting to succeed. He is very determined to make sure he doesn't have to experience being a soldier again, and wishes he could make sure no one else did too.

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  14. the quote " The city glittered, and I was so completely overwhelmed the I couldn't decide where to look."(194) what do you think this shows about the difference in our societies and how much different it is from other African countries.

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    1. I think it is different because in Africa they aren't use to big cities and buildings and lit up buildings. Especially one of the biggest cities in the world.

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    2. The transition is one that is never going to be easy for anyone living in a developing country. It probably angers them to see people spoiling themselves with so much while children are starving in other parts of the world.

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  15. Ishmael say in his speech before the UN " . . . if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge . . . " This shows the transformation between a degenerate soldier to an understanding person who just wants to do good in the world. What else do you believe this quote demonstrates?

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  16. Ishmael will be able to deal with his uncles death because of his experiences he has dealt with so much death that i feel that he is almost immune to it. He has also lost most of his family, it wont make him suicidal.

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    1. I think that this is a key part in the story where he can truly help others, and that now he can truly realize the mistakes he made as a boy. That now he is becoming a man he has to do something to the face the wall he put up as a young boy.

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  17. Hobey
    I don't think he will have suicidal thoughts. I think he has already seen so much chaos that he will be able to move on and get over it. But now that there is nobody it will effect him harder but not enough to kill himself after everything he has gone through

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  18. P208- My cousin cried, asking, who is going to take care of us now? Why did this happen to us in these difficult times? Down in the city, the gunmen fired off their guns. This shows how people can be affected by war even if they aren't apart of it. I think this is where Ishmael truly realizes what he was a part of, and that what he has done he can never be fully forgiven. That now he has to work to help save others, and the first people he can save are his cousins.

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  19. On page 199, Ishmael states "What I have learned from my experiences is that revenge is not good." Is revenge a symbol in this book? And how does this play a role in Ishmaels life

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    1. Revenge plays a big role in the book, but I think Ishmael is only killing because he was forced to do drugs, and he when he is on drugs he can focus on violence. Ishmael had reasons to seek for revenge, but if he never did drugs then he would have avoided killing people.

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  20. Some evenings I told my family (including Mohamed, who now lived with us) stories about my trip. Do you think that he thought that america was much safer then his country. Do you think that he is more comfortable being there?

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  22. An important part of this book is transformation, Ishmael is transformed from a blood thirsty killer into a child that wants to change the world.

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  23. Pg. 206 ".. told us not to go to the city anymore. But we had no choice. We would have to." If he had not escaped, would he have kept this up, or rejoined the army?

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    1. i think that he would try to keep it up but he would eventually join the army.

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  24. Chapter 20 is mainly about how Ishmael loves New York City. He talks about how it is very different from Africa. It is mostly colder. Ishmael has been through so much after the war. In this chapter his Uncle died. On page 208 he says, "I stood behind his coffin, and I could hear my footsteps clinging in my ears... She collapsed." This quote shows how much family death can affect people. After all the pain Ishmael has been through, what keeps him from taking drugs? What motivates Ishmael to move on?

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    1. Ishmael is motivated because he knows that joining the war again would be bad for him, also he is motivated to change the world and tell other people about the war.

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    2. I think that he doesn't take drugs at this moment in his life because even if he is young and broken, he is more mature that many kids at his age and he has experienced the traumas of war and withdrawal of drugs.

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  25. On page 208 Ishmael describes Uncle Tommy's death with, "His lips were about to utter something, but they stopped shaking, and he was gone." This was a very important event because Ishmael had his family all murdered except Uncle Tommy. He now has Mohamed and he is in his "family" now.

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  26. I think that Ishmael wrote this book to show the world how propaganda from war can change young boys into savages, and then they are expected to return to the world as normal problem solving human beings.

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  27. By saying that, maybe he still feels that he has no reason to be here. Why is he alive? Maybe he is figuring that he has purpose

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  28. The question asked in the middle was, Do you think that the rap music changed the perception of what he thought New York would be? I think that it did at first because he would listen to the rap music and there would be people getting shot and people dying. But when he gets there he sees that this is not a bad city and that he does not need to worry about bad things happening to him as much as he does in Sierra Leone.

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  29. On pg. 197 Ishmael's uncle speaks to him on the phone from NYC and says, " "I guess I believe you, because I haven't seen you in a few days." He giggled. I opened my hotel window and let him hear the sounds of New York." Do you think Ishmael feels bad that he is in such a nice place while his family is still in Africa?

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  30. " When I was seven I had an answer to this question (The monkey question) that made sense to me. I never discussed it with anyone, though for fear of how my mother would feel. I concluded to myself that if I were the hunter, I would shoot the monkey so that it would no longer have the chance to put any other hunters in the same predicament" (P.218)
    this quote shows that he is scared but he makes a drastic dissition to do something much like he does with the war it leaves so much of the story just hanging there. I like it because I feel that it is the only part of the story that incorporates symbolism. The original dilemma that was asked to Ishmael was ... " There was a hunter who went into the bush to kill a monkey. but the monkey spoke saying 'If you shoot me, your mother will die, and if you don't, your father will die." (p.217) there is another exsample of the symbolism and the drastic choices

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  31. Ishmael uses rap to take him places, he almost uses it as an escape of what is happening in his life at that time. That is what makes music so amazing because it can take you away from all the bad things happening in your life at that time, and Ishmael uses this to his advantage.

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  32. How do you think that all of this will change Ishmael's life? how do you think it will effect the people that he tells his story to?

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  33. Do you think Ishmael blames himself for the death of his uncle? He acted the same way he did when he was recovering when his uncle died so do you think he blames himself?

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  34. What do you think about the events that occurred in chapter 21? With Ishmael being stuck in another war just after getting out of one. For me i thought this was surprising because i thought they were just about to wrap up the book but they threw another war in there and did not really feel like they tied everything up at the very end.

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  35. I think his survival is just meant to be. Everyone around him helps him survive but he doesn't know it. He was just meant to have a happy life. The struggles that he went through just makes him a hero and how he overcame them.

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    1. I think that Ishmael was able to survive because he has the strong willpower to achieve more in the world, this willpower enabled him to survive when he was about to die.

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  36. Do you think that society can truly expect these young "killers" to ever be able to truly return to normal human beings?

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    1. I think that society wants them to return to normal human beings, but they know that they cannot.

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    2. I do not think society can ever accept them as anything but killers. But in their own minds, that will not affect Ishmael and his "brothers". I believe that he has been brought back to reality and a real human being because when the war breaks out again after the page 204, he states "I can not survive another civil war." Ishmael has returned because some of the people could still crave the drugs and adrenaline rush of the war and killing each other.

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    3. I think that they can recover because how Ishmael recovers shows that it is possible to become normal again but I think that it will also show that it is not easy to do and you will be gratefully effected by this.

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  37. Why do you guys think that he survived and is the one that is able to express his experience ?

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    1. He is just the lucky one that made it out and was able to tell his story.

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  38. If Ishmael lost his temper I think he would have started killing people like back in the war but he said revenge is bad.

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  39. How different do you think Ishmael's view on the war would be if he was lucky enough not to become a child solider?

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    1. Im sure he would not understand it as much but still have an idea. He would not have that first hand experience really.

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  40. "Because if I was to get killed upon my return, I knew that a memory of my existence was alive somewhere in the world."(pg 200) This quote shows how he is telling his story to try to gain awareness about the events in his country. Do you think that this makes him a hero?

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  41. On page 202 when Mohamed and Ishmael hear the gunshots and see the people running in the city, Ishmael says, "Mohamed and I looked at each other: "Not again." Do you think that Ishmael lost the little hope he had gained in humanity when he saw this?

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    1. No, he has seen the good in the world on his trip to New York, so he knows that their is still hope in humanity.

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  42. Was it good that Ishmael told his story to the world and educated people on what happened to kids? Why?

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    1. I think it was a very good thing because he showed the world just how violent some places in the world are.

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  43. P217- "What would you do if you were the hunter?" This quotation is used as a flashback of how different his life could have been if he had made the wrong turn in the road, or if he had stayed an extra night somewhere. That as much as he can be sad about what he has done, or the savage that he was. He is lucky to be here in this book, and I think that he realizes that he needs to help others.

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  44. I think that his answer was clever, and maybe even the right one.

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  45. Why did the author choose this ending? How does it relate to the rest of the plot.

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    1. I think that the ending shows that his experience in the war has completely changed his view on life.

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  46. I think it represents that he is willing to change situations. Like he is able to take the worst of situations and make them good, and this could make him a hero

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  47. It shows what a good person Ishmael is, that he would make a sacrifice in his life to make everyone else's better. He is more concerned about other people's life than his and that's why he would make that sacrifice.

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  48. On page 217 it says "Just when he was about to pull the trigger, the monkey spoke: "If you shoot me , your mother will die, and if you don't, You father will die." The monkey resumed its position, chewing its food, ans every so often scratched its head or the side of its belly." Why do you think that Ishmael ended the book with this story that he has known from his childhood why does this have a lot of significance to him?

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  49. I thought that this was a worthwhile book because is was not aware that there was a child soldier war in Sierra Leone. Compared to Kite Runner, this book does not have as many themes because it is a memoir vs. a fictional story.

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  50. I think that this book was better then the kite runner because it is more intense and I think that it is easier to picture everything that happens in this book better then the kite runner.

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  51. I think that this book was definitely worth while book to teach because it shows the horrors of a civil war and child soldiers. I think that this book was better because it was more intense and was a true story not a realistic fiction like kite runner.

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  52. On pg. 195 in the second paragraph Ishmael talks about the other children who came to speak at the UN. Do you think Ishmael had the opportunity to share experiences, if so how do you think they impacted him?

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  53. I think this is a good book to teach for English 10, and I think that it was more appealing then the Kite Runner. I think that it is difficult for us to connect to both books, because it is almost impossible to relate it to our lives.

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  54. I think that they do not really connect at all. Its hard to go from the Kite Runner to Long way gone because they do not really experience the same things at all. I did like the book though

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  55. This was much better than KR, but I feel going overviewing the chapters can help recognize missed key points.

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  56. They were both decent books but i liked A Long Way Gone better because i thought it was more relatable and eye opening than Kite Runner

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  57. Do you think that the last story that he tells ion the book about the monkey shows how he thinks for peoples futures and that he is a good person and trying to save as many people as he can?

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  58. I think a long way gone was better to read than Kite Runner because it was more violent and more interesting than the Kite Runner.

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