A Long Way Home

by

Saroo Brierley

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Maps and Google Earth Symbol Icon

Maps very quickly become extremely important documents for Saroo: Mum pins up a map of India in his bedroom, and together, the two draw a map of Saroo’s hometown and the town where he boarded the train for Calcutta. Saroo fixates on the map in his room, and later on the maps made available to him via the program Google Earth. For Saroo, maps hold the key to piecing together his past—assuming he can reconcile “Ginestlay” and “Berampur” with the actual places recorded on maps. Maps then come to represent Saroo’s hope and idealism in attempting to find his home, and particularly in terms of Google Earth, they illustrate how technology and social networking can help illuminate incomplete or childish memories.

Maps and Google Earth Quotes in A Long Way Home

The A Long Way Home quotes below all refer to the symbol of Maps and Google Earth. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Long Way Home published in 2013.
9. Finding Home Quotes

...Khandwa Railway Station.

The name meant nothing to me.

My stomach knotted. How could this be?

Things had looked so right all the way from Burhanpur, which had to be the "B" town I had tried to remember. But if the bridge and the river were correct, where was "Ginestlay"?

Related Characters: Saroo Brierley (speaker)
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Long Way Home LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Long Way Home PDF

Maps and Google Earth Symbol Timeline in A Long Way Home

The timeline below shows where the symbol Maps and Google Earth appears in A Long Way Home. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Remembering
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Saroo grows up in Hobart, Tasmania (an island state of Australia). His Mum puts a map of India on Saroo's wall to make him feel at home when he arrives in... (full context)
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
...how poor his family was. They talk about his neighborhood and together, and draw a map of it with Saroo's instructions. Not long after, Saroo tells Mum about how he became... (full context)
5. A New Life
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
...is Saroo’s bedroom, as he’s never had a room to himself. Mum has pinned a map of India in it and laid out warm clothes appropriate for Tasmania’s cooler weather. It... (full context)
7. Growing Up
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
...feels like if he could see the town, he’d recognize it. None of the available maps are detailed enough to show small villages, but finally Saroo hears that Google Earth might... (full context)
8. Resuming the Search
Family Theme Icon
...a low-key way. On nights when Byron is out, Saroo searches for towns or uses Google Earth to check out coastal cities. (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
...admits that her greatest fear is that Saroo will find what he’s looking for on Google Earth , but not be able to find his family once he gets to India. Saroo... (full context)
9. Finding Home
Family Theme Icon
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
...He assures her that she’ll always be his mother as he shows his parents the Google Earth images. They celebrate tentatively. (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Memory, Technology, and Friendship Theme Icon
The next day, Mum tells Saroo that when she looked at the map they’d drawn when he was a child, it didn’t quite match up with what he... (full context)
Epilogue
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Saroo thinks back on his process of discovering Khandwa via Google Earth . He realizes he could’ve done things differently and found what he was looking for... (full context)