Summary and Analysis Chapter 7



Kamator, the village Ishmael, Junior, and their friends are hiding in, is attacked late one night without warning. Most of the villagers are at evening prayer when the rebels invade. They capture the imam, tie his body to a post in the town center, and light him on fire. The rest of the villagers are killed or flee into the bush. Ishmael manages to escape, but he is separated from his brother and friends. After a night in hiding, Ishmael finds Kalako and they return to the village to find everything burned.

Ishmael and Kalako hide with a family for two weeks, but the silence and fear become too much and Ishmael sets out on his own. He walks toward the sea and for five days straight he doesn't see any other people. All the villages have been abandoned and burned.


In this chapter, Ishmael is isolated from all that he has known. He loses contact with his brother, his friends, and everyone from his present and past. Following the attacks, he becomes frustrated living in hiding and fear and decides to simply leave his companions in the bush. Ishmael chooses a further isolation by leaving, but he somehow musters the strength to keep walking and survive.

The treatment of the imam, a highly religious and revered spiritual leader, shows the rebel's disregard for the village structure and morality. They burn his body publicly as a threatening symbol to the villagers and leave his remains to be eaten by dogs. This shows that they respect no authority but their own and will go to any length to terrorize the people.