Linda Sue Park’s A Long Walk to Water is a story about the lengths to which people will go in order to survive. The book is divided into two storylines, which remain separate until the final chapter (in fact, the final sentence). In the first storyline, set in Southern Sudan in 1985, an eleven–year-old boy named Salva Dut is forced to flee his village due to the outbreak of civil war. In the second storyline…(read full theme analysis)
In addition to focusing on the physical realities of people struggling to survive—such as the need for water and shelter—A Long Walk to Water focuses on the psychological and emotional aspects of the struggle for survival. It’s not enough to have food and water, Park suggests. Rather, to survive in dangerous times, people need to want to survive, which requires finding a source of strength, determination, and hope.
In tough times, the book…(read full theme analysis)
Especially in the second half of A Long Walk to Water, Park explores the theme of development—in other words, the methods that engineers, politicians, and aid workers use to improve the living conditions of people in Sudan. For the most part, the book takes an optimistic view of development, arguing that factors such as foreign aid and an influx of infrastructural development such as wells will be able to dramatically improve the situation in…(read full theme analysis)