Zeitoun

Zeitoun

Zeitoun Part 4: Thursday September 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Zeitoun wakes to screams and curses, as guards are shooting the pepper spray through the fencing, so that it spreads to all the prisoners. The splinter in Zeitoun’s foot is now infected and he can’t put any weight on it. He only needs a sterile needle or even knife to remove whatever is lodged inside his foot, but no one has anything. That morning, a man in scrubs wearing a stethoscope emerges from the station; Zeitoun calls, “Doctor!” to him, but the man says he’s not a doctor, and keeps walking.
In other cases, a new day has been the opportunity for Zeitoun to feel more optimistically about his situation, but this time, he awakens only to be faced with multiple reminders of his desperate situation. Like the military fan boats that seemed uninterested in actually rescuing victims, the doctor is similarly indifferent to Zeitoun’s suffering.
Themes
Crime, Justice, and Injustice Theme Icon
Faith, Perseverance, and Dignity Theme Icon
With breakfast (again with bacon) there is also a bottle of Tabasco, which Zeitoun breaks into shards on the cement. With one of them he cuts the swollen area of his foot and pries out a metal sliver, immediately feeling relief.
Without access to a doctor, Zeitoun is forced to take medical matters into his own hands in a scene that is excruciating even to read about.
Themes
Crime, Justice, and Injustice Theme Icon
Faith, Perseverance, and Dignity Theme Icon
That afternoon the guards switch from pepper-spraying to using a beanbag gun on prisoners. Meanwhile, Jerry keeps trying to engage Zeitoun and Nasser, asking them about Syria, their careers, their visits home. Zeitoun is increasingly unsettled. Later Todd would insist that Jerry was a spy meant to glean information. Zeitoun thinks he must have been very dedicated, to eat outside and sleep in the cage with the inmates. That night Zeitoun has a new pain in his side, which prevents him from sleeping yet again.
The guards seem to have switched tools merely for fun, to combat their own boredom. Jerry’s questions seem to confirm the suspicions of Zeitoun regarding the reasons he and the others have been detained—Jerry is clearly trying to get them to say something that would actually justify their imprisonment.
Themes
Crime, Justice, and Injustice Theme Icon