Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Salt to the Sea: 117. Florian Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Florian hides away in the hollow chimney in the center of the ship. Alfred comes in with news that a group of female naval auxiliaries are being housed in the ship. He seems to be trying to bond with Florian over the thought of pretty women, but it does not work. Florian asks Alfred about himself, and Alfred explains he was a late recruit because he was generally untalented, a fact that disappointed his father but relieved his Mutter.
Alfred wants to win Florian’s approval, if not necessarily his friendship. However, the two men are too different to ever get along, and their relationship is based on mutual need; Florian needs Alfred’s help navigating the ship, communicating with Joana, and staying hidden, while Alfred needs Florian to feel important.
Themes
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
Florian asks Alfred if his Mutter loved the Hitler. Defensively, Alfred points out “We all love the Führer […] as the papers say, ‘The good German fights for the Führer.’”  Alfred admits he sometimes feels sad for those who “could not be part of the master race.”  Florian finds Alfred and his views increasingly off-putting.
Alfred reveals himself to be antisocial, maybe even sociopathic. However, this is the first time he has expressed any sympathy for people not of the master race, who were killed or imprisoned as a result of their ethnic, racial, or religious backgrounds.
Themes
Agency, Willpower, and Fate Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon