Answer to question two:
Zeitoun chose to stay in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, like he did during every storm. He saw no need to evacuate, their house was not near any levees and besides, it was three feet above the ground. Since Zeitoun and Kathy ran a painting and contractor company they had many job sites and houses to look after. During the storm their equipment could cause harm to clients’ property. Staying in New Orleans, Zeitoun could watch over these properties and over their own house. In that way he could fix any damage immediately, which would prevent mayor damage to the house. Near the end of the book Zeitoun realizes that there might be another reason for him to stay in New Orleans: “Was there not some wish that he might honor his brother, his family, his God, by doing all he could …” (page 264). After the hurricane he is satisfied and even thankful that he had stayed in the city. He felt like he was needed and that his choice to stay in the city had been God’s will. But then he gets arrested and feels guilty he stayed in the city. He puts his family through suffering, since they do not know whether he is dead or alive. Zeitoun admits that he had lost perspective and had expected and hoped too much from staying in New Orleans. Since the evacuation was mandatory the people who stayed in the city, just like Zeitoun, were not allowed to be there. Therefore, you could say that they can only blame there selves for being arrested. However, the police men who arrested those people should have asked them why they stayed in town. There should have been an investigation whether they were plunderers or not. I can imagine that they would like to do this investigation a few days after the hurricane since the main priority is to rescue people. Still, this investigation should have taken place within a few days and during those days the men who acted like Zeitoun should have been treated kindly. I think that what happened to Zeitoun is due to the chaos after the hurricane and the lack of one authority that has an overview and bears responsibility for all the helping and security organization that went to New Orleans. Yet, the jailors should have taken their own responsibility and treated Zeitoun and the other prisoners more kindly. Answer to question three:
The things that happened to Zeitoun, his arrest and the days in jail, are horrible. Luckily, he is able to put strength out of his faith and the fact that he knows that Kathy and the children are save and among friends. Kathy, on the other hand, does not have this certainty about Zeitoun. Before his arrest, she cannot reach him when she wants to, except at noon when Zeitoun is near a phone. Besides, Kathy has access to all kinds of media where terrible things about New Orleans are reported. On the other hand, Abdulrahman is in New Orleans and does not notice these things like crime and murder. After his arrest Zeitoun is not able to answer the phone which worries Kathy. She does not know where her husband is and after seeing all the terrible things on the television she cannot help suspecting the worst. Besides her own grief she has to deal with that of her children as well. I found this very well written in the passage where she is in the car driving towards Yuko on page 119, due to all the question her children are asking about their father she just snapped and could not drive any further. Further, she also has to deal with Zeitoun his family who is calling her and even judging her for not going back to New Orleans to look for him. This must have given her a lot of stress. Overall, I believe that Kathy is suffering from more Post-Traumatic stress than Zeitoun because she was left in the unknown after Zeitouns arrest, while he could gain strength out of the fact that Kathy and the kids were safe and could help him get out of jail. This novel has certainly changed the way I see the United States. I was shocked by the way people are treated when they are...
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