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Zeitoun Quotes

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eitoun's years as a sailor and a Muslim have led him to believe in some sort of interstellar navigator; he believes that someone is keeping the stars in the sky and rotating the planets around the sun. This belief is most clearly demonstrated when Zeitoun says, "So without a captain, the ship cannot navigate... Look above you, at the stars and moon. How do the stars keep their place in the sky, how does the moon rotate around the earth, the earth around the sun? Who's navigating?" Dave Eggers, the author of Zeitoun, uses these words to inform the reader about who Zeitoun is as a person. Zeitoun's beliefs go on to shape his actions and have a huge impact on the central meaning of the text.

Eggers uses Zeitoun's quote to show the stubborn resolve of his protagonist. Just like Zeitoun refuses to leave New Orleans before Katrina, he never falters in his unwavering faith in his God. Zeitoun's faith is made even more clear when he says, "Any vessel, any carrier of humans, needs a captain, yes?" (Eggers 154) This firm belief within Zeitoun portrays his strong religious convictions.

This faith of Zeitoun's is firm and resolute, and it guides not only his thoughts but his actions at several key points of the narrative. When Zeitoun is taken prisoner and held in the temporary chain link prison he turns to frequent prayer and recites several passages from his Holy Book. At this point in the story Zeitoun is powerless. He has been controlled and abused by powers beyond his control from the very beginning. Zeitoun was powerless to stop Katrina from decimating his city, the armed guards from taking him prisoner, and the United States Federal Government from holding him in a maximum security prisoner for over a month. Escape was impossible against these insurmountable forces, so there was only one thing Zeitoun could do.

"'We can pray,'" (Eggers 223). Zeitoun prayed with his friend Nasser multiple times a day in his cell, attracting some unwanted attention from the guards. Zeitoun's knew that Allah wouldn't swoop down from the heavens and pluck him from prison at his bequest, but he said his prayers anyways because of his strong belief in these external forces and because his religion urged them to pray five times a day.

These scenes in the prisons where Zeitoun turns to forces greater than himself for protection shape the meaning of the entire text. Mr. Eggers seems to be implying that a person on his or her own is powerless, and are currently at the whim of forces far greater than humans of flesh and blood. Zeitoun turned to prayer because it was the only thing he could do after being tossed about the city by Katrina, the Government, and a group of mercenaries with guns. Eggers' words are not very hopeful. If he believed in the power of man



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