Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea


Ruta Sepetys

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Salt to the Sea: 47. Joana Summary & Analysis

In the aftermath of the explosion, children scream and soldiers yell. Joana wants to help the injured, but the soldiers and the Poet usher her towards safety. The Poet argues, “What good will you be, my dear, if you are injured? [...] You must preserve yourself in order to help others.” Joana thinks to herself that the Poet doesn’t know the truth, “I had already preserved myself. I had left Lithuania and those I loved behind. To die.”
Joana feels so compelled to help people that she is willing to put her own life in danger. Luckily, the Poet and her other friends are looking out for her, and care about her safety more than she cares about her own wellbeing. Joana’s need to help others clearly comes from guilt at having escaped Lithuania when so many others did not. She feels that, having been saved once, she doesn’t deserve to be saved again.  
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