Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea


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Salt to the Sea: 62. Emilia Summary & Analysis

The refugees debate the best way to evacuate. Either way, they will have to walk for a long time to reach either Gotenhafen or Pillau. They wonder how best to transport their possessions, and decide to flag down a boat to take them, and lend their cart, with their possessions, to another family who will meet them in the city. Emilia considers how she no longer has any possessions. She thinks back to her father who once told her “you’re all I have” after her mother died.
While many refugees have been separated from their homes, they still can hold on to their possessions that remind them of the life they left behind. Emilia, in contrast, has nothing; she has lost her family, and she has lost every possession she ever owned. She is left with only her memories.
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Emilia continues to think about the past. She remembers being sent to the Kleist family farm, and how she had to pretend she was not upset to leave her father. She remarks, “I became good at pretending,” so good that “sometimes, when I did a really good job of pretending, I even fooled myself.”
For the first time, Emilia admits that part of her identity and some of her “memories” of the past are in fact a fantasy. Although she doesn’t admit which pieces of her life she has invented, she explains that she has begun to believe in her fantasies herself.
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