Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Salt to the Sea: 16. Emilia Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Emilia isn’t sure if she trusts Joana, but decides to stand watch as she performs surgery, as Emilia feels she owes Florian (whom she calls “the knight”) a debt for saving her life. 
Emilia sees Florian through a layer of fantasy — she never refers to him by name, instead calling him her knight and protector, whom she, in turn, feels obligated to watch over.
Themes
Storytelling and Fantasy  Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
Emilia feels indebted to Florian, even though when he told her to go away “his voice was another in the chorus of those who wanted the Poles to disappear forever.” She remembers meeting a Polish woman on the road as she fled Nemmersdorf. The woman told her that Nazis had killed hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews in her hometown of Lwów, including, in all likelihood, everyone she had ever known.
Possibly the lone survivor of her village and her family, Emilia looks for personal connection where she can. Although she has begun to internalize Nazi ideology that says she is worthless and unworthy of life, she does her best to soldier on.
Themes
Agency, Willpower, and Fate Theme Icon
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
Outside, looking for a stick, Emilia wonders if she can tell Joana her burning secret, but decides not to because she is sure Joanna will be “disgusted.”
Emilia’s shame at her secret pregnancy constantly weighs on her. Having survived many atrocities, she feels somehow responsible for the crimes that have been committed against her.
Themes
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon