Just like any other literature material, Dave Egger’s book has several literary components, which have been displayed in each sentence and paragraph. This section of the paper will analyze two excerpts of the paper in a clear and pithy manner.
“My kids are worried about you, Ahmad’s son Lutfi and daughter Laila had been watching CNN since the storm. They saw the images of devastation and desperation, and could not believe that their uncle living amid all that” (Eggers, 2010).In this context, Ahmad is talking to his brother Zeitoun who remained in Louisiana when the rest of the family members left for Arizona to escape hurricane. The conversation is taking place on phone on a Sunday, September 14. Ahmad has called to know the situation of his brother following what they had been watching scaring images they have been watching on television concerning the storm. Considering thematic analysis, the excerpt has four main themes; family relationship, love, disaster and suffering, and role of the media in a society.
The individuals conversing in the context are blood brothers. The relationship between them is a loving and caring one. Ahmad takes his time to call and enquire on how his brother is fairing on with life. The same type of relationship is depicted among Zeitoun’s niece and nephew, that is, Laila and Lutfi respectively. The two children, Laila and Lutfi have been used by the author of the book to elaborate on the theme of suffering in the context. They get worried when they see images of the flood disaster in Louisiana. They are worried that their uncle might be among the victims they have watched succumbing to the flood. Media in any society plays a pivotal role of making the public aware of certain occurrences in any part of the world. Media should not restrict itself to specific information; it should show happenings of all types, the way CNN is doing it in this case. Dave Egger has also made use of dialogue, as a figurative literature device, in this extract to make the story livelier. The phone dialogue between the two brothers is an indication to any reader that the story is a non-fiction type.
“How are you boys today? He asked the first two. They whimpered, and ate, and licked his legs. He was amused by how grateful they were everyday. Have little faith” (Eggers, 2010 p146). In this context, Keitoun is in Nadamah’s house in Louisiana. He is feeding the dogs and talking to them at the same time. The main stylistic device emerging here is personification. It is whereby an author gives non-human creature human attributes such as speech. Keitoun, in this case, has given the dogs human attributes of hearing and responding to his questions. To him, the dogs always hear what he say to them and respond by licking at his feet. The message Dave is portraying in this part of the book is that of Keitoun’s loneliness. His family left him for Arizona and has no one close to talk to as before. This is what makes him communicate with the dogs. He takes care of them just like her children. The author has also portrayed one of the impacts of the disastrous storm. Keitoun no longer lives in his house; he stays in Nadamah’s house. His house has been swept by the storm.
1) Which characters do you enjoy reading about the most?
Zeitoun is one of the characters that make the whole reading of the book, Zeitoun stimulating and captivating. Faced with all sorts of evil, Zeitoun is still determined to stay back and help others and most specifically, the dogs. He has a family, which is so concerned of his safety. However, he cares more about the safety and well-being of the dogs and other people. From this point of view, we are able to deduce that he puts the welfare of others in front of his own. Zeitoun has been able to make readers more attentive in reading the article; in order to know the escapades he encountered till the end of the story. He captures all the intriguing events and solves issues in a critical and mindful manner (Eggers, 2010).
2) Whose reactions do you feel would be closest to your own?
Zeitoun’s reaction is reasonable because when one is faced with a calamity, he or she seeks help from others. This is not the case for Kathy who prefers to stay back and salvage other people’s property. Kathy manages to drive for kilometers despite the pressure exerted to her by her children. This depicts her weakness. Mothers have a strong personality and will, and with this, I can relate her case with mine when faced with strenuous situations. Upon hearing the situation at her husband’s residential town, Kathy decides to go there and have a personal observation. It is not a wise move because people are evacuating the place to safer ground. Zeitoun, who prefers to stay behind, make a big move to do so, because it is important for the safety of his family and those close to him (Eggers, 2010).
3) Whose actions, Kathy’s or Zeitoun’s, do you most agree with? Why?
I agree with Zeitoun’s action plan of remaining behind so as to help the others who were facing difficulties at home. He knew that even though he had a family, he would be in a position to reunite with them anytime he wanted. Of concern to her was the welfare of the others. He portrays a selfless character, which is often not normal for anybody. Despite Kathy convincing him to evacuate and to come to be with him at such a difficult time, Zeitoun asserts that it was a time to rescue animals and people left behind (Eggers, 2010).
Eggers, D. (2010). Zeitoun. New York, NY: Vintage Books.