Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea


Ruta Sepetys

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Salt to the Sea can help.

Everything you need
for every book you read.

"Sooo much more helpful than SparkNotes. The way the content is organized
and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive."
Get LitCharts A+
  • Easy-to-use guides to literature, poetry, literary terms, and more
  • Super-helpful explanations and citation info for over 30,000 important quotes
  • Unrestricted access to all 50,000+ pages of our website and mobile app
Get LitCharts A+

Salt to the Sea: 96. Joana Summary & Analysis

Dr. Richter allows Joana a moment to “freshen up.” She barely recognizes herself, and is happy to clean herself but can’t stop thinking about “The remorse [she] would never be able to wash down a sink.” She’s glad she can “help and heal” as a distraction. Still, Joana misses her family and her cousin. She misses Lithuania and her language. She thinks, “Survival had its price: guilt.”
Joana remains guilty over her past. Here, her dirty skin is a kind of metaphor for her perceived dirty deeds, however, unlike dirt, her remorse cannot be washed away. Although she has survived to help others, Joana feels it is unfair that she has been allowed to continue to live.
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon