Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea


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Salt to the Sea: 33. Emilia Summary & Analysis

Emilia can’t stop thinking about how she killed a man. Even though she saved Florian, she doesn’t feel good about it. The gunshot triggers “discarded memories,” of “boots. Screaming. Glass shattering. Guns firing. Skull against wood.” She can’t make the memories go away, and revisits her nursery rhyme “All the little duckies with their heads in the water…” Overwhelmed and in sudden pain, Emilia collapses into the snow.
Emilia often tries to disguise memories of her traumatic past with layers of fantasy. Sometimes, however, the truth breaks through. Repeating her mother’s nursery rhyme helps calm her, but it isn’t powerful enough to overcome the mental and physical trauma she has endured.  
Storytelling and Fantasy  Theme Icon
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon