1. Compare the portrayal of Katrina in Salvage the Bones to what you saw of the hurricane in the news. Which aspect of the storm’s devastation does this novel bring to life? What does Esch’s perspective add to your understanding of Katrina’s impact? When Hurricane Katrina occurred, I was an eleven year-old child with little to no concern about the current events happening around me.
Nevertheless, I was still saddened by the hurricane that killed almost 2,000 people and left thousands homeless. The news reported daily about the damages done, and showed all of the people that were in need of help. But through the novel, you really get vivid details of what it was like for people who actually had to sit and wait for the storm to be over. You get to imagine and see the struggle that people had to go through to survive.
The Batiste family struggling to get out of their flooded house, getting hurt in the process of getting to safety , and Skeetah losing China to save Esch are displays of the sacrifice and strength it took to overcome this brutal natural disaster. Although this novel is fictional, real people had to endure these things when Hurricane Katrina hit. Esch’s perspective of the storm brought me to the realization of how powerful Katrina was.
When she comes to the realization that she is pregnant, of course, she is as scared as any 15 year-old pregnant child would be. She often refers to the baby as “the secret”, because she is so frighten and she’s keeping it hidden. Esch contemplates on what options she has, like abortion or non-conventional methods that she has overheard from girls. The child in her brings her shame and she wishes for it to go away. She’s trying to decide rather aborting the child will make Manny want her or will keeping the child change his mind about her.
She is basically deciding her child’s fate on the acceptance of Manny, and of course she doesn’t think of the well-being of the child because she is nothing but a child herself. Skeetah and Daddy have different, but somewhat similar reactions to finding out about Esch’s pregnancy. Skeetah figures out Esch is pregnant before she even tells anyone. He’s not at all mad or ashamed of her, but he knows what’s going on with Manny and he hates him for treating Esch poorly.
He actually subliminally gives her encouragement when he says, “Everything need a chance.. ”. When Daddy finds out, he’s not upset but is hurt and sorry. More than likely he blames himself because of his lack of parenting. He focuses on what can be done to ensure that Esch and the baby is safe, rather than interrogating her about how it happened. Since they reacted so calm and rationally, Esch never really had to keep it a secret. 3.
Explain how Daddy seems to know that a storm is coming before anyone else? How do his children and neighbors react to his early preparations? Why do Daddy’s precautions fail in the face of Katrina’s destruction? Daddy knows that a storm is coming because he relies on what the news is saying, even though most of the people around him say that the news is wrong. He backs up his claim by saying, “I can feel them coming.. ”. He might also be sure of it because he has witnessed very powerful hurricanes in his life as a child.
Still, everyone around him takes what he is saying lightly. The people around him don’t take him serious, and it may be because he is drunk 99. 9% of the time. The neighbors swear that he is wrong and that the news get facts twisted all of the time. While trying to prepare, his children do everything to try to avoid helping because they don’t think it is as serious as it actually turns out to be. But after he is hurt they have no choice but to carry on with the preparations without him.
Daddy’s precautions fail when Katrina hits because of a few particular reasons. The wood that they had was mismatched and didn’t cover the windows completely. Most of all they were prepared rain and wind, but they weren’t ready for everything to be flooded. So, all of the preparation was useless because the flood caused them to have to evacuate their house with no food or supplies. Daddy tried to be ready but no one, not even him, knew just how strong and destructive Katrina would be.