Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Else Kleist Character Analysis

The German daughter of Michael and Erna Kleist, the sister of August. She and Emilia always got along during the years Emilia lived on her family’s farm. Although Else doesn’t think less of Emilia because she was Polish, she cares about Emilia’s wellbeing less than she cares about her own. When Soviet Forces invade their city and come to their farm, they want to rape Else. Erna protects her daughter by offering Emilia in her place. Else does not protest and does not try to stop Emilia from being dragged away.
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Else Kleist Character Timeline in Salt to the Sea

The timeline below shows where the character Else Kleist appears in Salt to the Sea. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
77. Emilia
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
...her, take care of her, love her like your own.” In the end, Emilia remembers, Else, August, and Martin all welcomed her, but Mrs. Kleist did not.  (full context)
103. Emilia
Agency, Willpower, and Fate Theme Icon
Storytelling and Fantasy  Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
...Instead, one day Russian soldiers arrived at the Kleist family farm. They tried to take Else, but Mrs. Kleist told them “we have one who is much prettier,” and traded Emilia... (full context)
125. Emilia
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
...Kleist family. She worked hard but nothing she did was enough for Frau Kleist.  Still, Else and August were kind to her. She doesn’t blame Else for her rape, but wonders... (full context)