Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Salt to the Sea: 53. Florian Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Florian hides in the same cathedral as the rest of the refugees, but he hides inside of the church organ so as not to be seen. He watches Joana but tries not to become too invested in her.
Florian is constantly fighting his attraction to Joana. He worries that affiliating with her will slow him down and put her in danger. 
Themes
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
Florian goes through his backpack and considers his special parcel: a tiny amber swan, stolen from the disassembled Amber Room. The Amber Room was stolen from Russia in 1941, and placed under the care of Dr. Lange, and, by extension, Florian. Florian helped Lange move and hide the room from advancing Soviet forces, but Florian realizes that by allowing Florian to help, Lange was setting him up to potentially take the blame. Florian stole the swan, as well as a map and key to the cellar where the crates containing the Amber Room is hidden. He sees taking the key as revenge against Lange, but the swan is revenge against Hitler.
Florian stole the swan, map, and key in order to get back at Hitler and Lange. He was upset that Lange had manipulated and disrespected him, and upset that Hitler killed his father. Florian feels that he is avenging his father—especially as his father always warned him not to trust Lange. Florian’s occasional ominous thoughts about the future and his imminent death all stem from his possession of the swan. He sees it as a symbol of his revenge, but also worries that he is cursed by it, and that by carrying it he is setting himself up for death. 
Themes
Agency, Willpower, and Fate Theme Icon
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon