Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Salt to the Sea: 34. Joana Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Joana leaves the mansion to look for oak bark that will help treat the refugees’ blisters. The Poet remains full of energy. Joana observes, “he refused to buckle under the burden of grief and loss.” As she leaves the house Joana sees a copy of the Charles Dickens novel The Pickwick Papers, which her grandmother had given to both her and her cousin Lina for Christmas. Suddenly guilty, Joana thinks to herself, “what had I done?”
Joana has an almost compulsive need to look after others. Helping others helps her, since keeping busy means that she doesn’t have time to think about her guilt, and it gives her a reason to continue moving forward so she does not become stuck in painful memories of the past. 
Themes
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon
Once outside, Joana recognizes Florian and Emilia in the snow. Emilia has collapsed and Joana goes to help her. Pulling open her coat, Joana sees that Emilia is pregnant.
Once again, Joana sees someone in pain and must help them. For the first time, Emilia’s pain and trauma is revealed to be physical, not just mental.
Themes
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon