Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quotes and Literary Terms

"You really think hey consider us terrorists?" Nasser asked.
Todd rolled his eyes. "why else would we be alone in this cell while everyone else in crammed together? We're the big fish here. We're the big catch" (228)

Simile - The city looked like it had been abandoned for decades. The cars, their colors washed grey from the toxic water, were strewn about like playthings.

Irony - "Why are we here?" he asked a passing soldier
"You guys are al Qaeda" the soldeir said.
Todd laughed derisively, but Zeitoun was startled. He could not have heard right.

Motif's - Both the Qur'an and water could be classified as motif's. The Qur'an is continually reffered to ever since Zeitoun's family was seperated from him. The water is also continually in the book. From the first chapters where Zeitoun's brothers were fishing in Syria, to when Zeitoun's fathers stories about conquering the sea were told, and throughout the Hurricane.

Simile - Todd steered the boat like he was captaining a great yacht (152)

Climax - The climax of Zeitoun is when the main character (Abdulrahman Zeitoun) and his friend Todd are arrested for supposedly being part of Al-Queda. The men enter where Zeitoun was staying and handcuff both him and Todd. The reader is unsure of what will happen next and this section is full of suspense.

Tone - For the majority of the novel, the tone is sad, dark, and dreary. This is not only because because of the terrible hurricane, but because of the fact that Abdulrahman Zeitoun is separated from his family and his existance is unknown about for a long period as well. "Zeitoun could hear how worried she was" (124).

Imagery - "And this was different from the murky rainwater of the day before. This water was green and clear. This was lake water" (85)

Pleonasm - "Build" he thinks. "Build, build, build" (323)

Alliteration - "grey gusts" (15)
"anything to anyone" (11)
"waiting and watching" (6)


Prisoners being taken off the bus and detained at Camp Greyhound (the outdoor jail) during Hurricane Katrina. Zeitoun was kept within these confines.

To the left is an image of the Qur'an. Several times throughout the novel, Zeitoun refers to the Qur'an for comfort. This happens most notibly when he was reflecting about how long his family has been.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Links continued...

Hurricane Katrina refugees relocating to Arizona

The amazing true story of Zeitoun

Video of Kathy Zeitoun talking about Hurricane Katrina (she talks about what was the tipping point in her decision to seek refuge)

Article about jailing innocent citizens during Hurricane Katrina (Zeitoun's story is mentioned)

Peoples stories and pictures of them saving animals endangered during Hurricane Katrina. There are pictures of them searching the city and feeding and petting hurt animals. This is similart to how Zeitoun treated animals when he encountered them.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Images Continued...

Zeitoun talks about how his neighbors were emptying out by this point, and he didnt have many people to help out. He debated whether or not to head over to St. Charles and Napoleon St. to ask the aid workers how he could help out or get out of the city.

Below is a picture of the famous train station (which also held a military base) in which Zeitoun and his friend Todd were held for apparently being terrorists. In the cage, they were held at gunpoint by two M-16's. They were both in disbelief

The picture below depicts the lifestyle of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Prison. Zeitoun depicts the prison he was put in to be very similar to this prison. He describes the wire fencing, makeshift fences, and small individual cells where he is held. This description seems identical to the cells to the right.

This picture (to the left) describes the situation that happened to a man held in the prison with Zeitoun. After he refused to get up and move to the middle of the cage, the guards came in, pulled him out, and pepper sprayed his entire body. Then, they through him back in the cage. Todd stated that: "You have to wash the pepper spray off otherwise you get burned, blistered" (234)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Symbolism of the Characters

Abdulrahman Zeitoun - To depict his struggle through Hurricane Katrina not only economically, but personally as well. Zeitoun not only has to deal with the trouble of his house and office, but the fear of never seeing his family again as well. He represents the many fears and thoughts one would encounter as they live through Hurricane Katrina.

Kathy (plus Nademah, Aisha, and Safiya) - signify the physical and emotional separation of the family. They are in Arizona, as Zeitoun is stuck in the hurricane. It is the longest he has ever been away from his family and at many times he questions whether he will ever see them again.

Zachary - signifies a loss of a father figure. He is Kathy's son from another marriage, but he doesnt have contact with his biological father. Zeitoun grew up acting as his father, but now he is separted from the family as well.

Ahmad - Not only is he one of Zeitoun''s 9 brothers and sisters, but he represents a logical thinker. As the storm neared, Ahmad was telling Zeitoun that he should really think about leaving New Oreans. He described the eye of the storm and where it was heading.

Mahmoud - Represents everything that Zeitoun is now. For as long as Zeitoun lived, he lived in the shadow of his father who was known across Syria as a legendary sailor who survived numerous dangerous situations at sea. Now, Zeitoun is faced with a dangerous situation in which he must fight to live through and survive.

Melvin - Melvin depicted the commitment to Zeitoun's painting business. Numerous employees counted on the business as a way of income and survival.

Charlie - He represents a sense of noticibility about the hard work and commitment that Zeitoun possesses. When Zeitoun worked for Charlie, he once had to run to work with his bike on his shoulders after it got a flat tire. Charlie saw Zeitoun as he was running and commented on his strong work ethic.

Friday, May 6, 2011


As Zeitoun is moving through the neighborhoods in his boat, he sees a bright light emerging. As he gets closer he realizes it is a whole neighborhood becoming engulfed in flames. Then, he realizes it is the neighborhood where his office is. Zeitoun fears that the toxins of the paint will get released into the environment, but he realzies their is nothing he can do. Luckily, due to the direction of the wind, his office did not get engulfed. The fire ended about 20 feet from it.

This photo album symbolizes the album that Zeitoun took out after he went into his daughter's bedroom (Nademah's) and reflected on how long it has been since he had seen his family. In this scene, Zeitoun described the strawberry shampoo and pillowcases that reminded him of his daughter. He also stated that this was the longest time he had ever been away from them. It symbolizes a feeling of hopelessness since he is forced to be away from them.

This picture is vastly similar to that of Zeitoun when he realized the water level was rising. He ran up to the roof of his building and tried bringing all the furniture up. This was the first time he become very worried about the storm.

Syria is the land in which Zeitoun and his 9 brothers and sisters grew up. He discusses how he used to make a living fishing at night on a small boat.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


A review of Zeitoun by the New York Times

National Geographic timeline of Hurricane Katrina

Governmental Information Regarding Hurricane Katrina

Nonprofit Agency geared towards helping survivors of the Hurricane

Information regarding the book, author, pictures, and Hurricane Katrina

Personal Stories about people who lived through the hurricane

Facts about Katrina