Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Salt to the Sea: 28. Alfred Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Waiting in the harbor, Alfred becomes more anxious. The Allied forces are closing in, and the Germans have organized a water evacuation. Alfred has gotten a rash on his hands and in his armpits. He blames the Communists for it.
Although in his fantasies Alfred claims he wants to be important and take care of important tasks, when presented with the opportunity he becomes nervous and useless.
Themes
Storytelling and Fantasy  Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
Alfred doesn’t think there will be enough time to register and board hundreds of thousands of people, but the High Command says, “you will make it possible.” He imagines the power he will feel vetting and selecting which refugees will be allowed to evacuate. He begins to compose a letter to Hannelore in his head, telling her “I have been selected for a very important mission to disinfect this land. But we heroes eat danger atop our porridge for breakfast. It is nothing, dear one.”
Alfred is excited about the idea of being responsible for “vetting and selecting” refugees for evacuation. This will give him the kind of power he has been fantasizing about. For once, the events of his letter to Hannelore are not fictionalized. However, his description of himself as a hero reveals he still sees himself in mythic terms. 
Themes
Storytelling and Fantasy  Theme Icon