Zeitoun Fight Or Flight Essay

1007 words - 5 pages

Is it worth risking your life to protect your belongings and property when a Category 5 hurricane is barreling towards your city? Is it right to disregard reports about a storm because in past experiences the news has been wrong? In Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, a man named Zeitoun decides to let his family evacuate New Orleans without him so that he can stay behind and protect his several homes, business, and personal belongings from Category 5 hurricane Katrina. Once the hurricane passes, and he survives, the city turns into chaos. The streets turn violent and the great city turns into a third world country. The power goes out for weeks, and there is no water. The breakdown of all authority gets ...view middle of the document...

She was leaving him to fend for himself, leaving him to chop holes in the attic with an ax? It was insane” (54). Many times prior to evacuating Kathy brought up the idea of packing up and leaving, however Zeitoun tried changing the subject or immediately shot the idea down. Now because they would separate, since she and the kids were leaving and he was staying, he was putting his family in an unfair position. Kathy needed to decide whether to stay and face the danger of the storm, or leave and constantly worry about her husband. Also the Mayor of New Orleans calls for a mandatory evacuation, and by not following this order Zeitoun puts the first responders of the city in harms way, for if the flood waters strand or trap him, the rescuers will need to risk their lives to save him.
Zeitoun is a hardworking man, who comes from nothing and eventually creates a well-known and successful painting company. However as Katrina begins to close in on the coast he puts his work before his family, and frankly spends more time thinking about saving the multiple houses he owns instead of his own kids:
“Kathy couldn’t stand it. She called her husband. ‘We have to go.
‘Wait, wait,’ He said. ‘Let’s wait and see’
‘Please,’ She said.
‘Really?’ He said. ‘You can go.’” (41)
Kathy pleads Zeitoun to leave as a family, but he will not have any of it. He wants to stay to watch over his properties instead of staying with what matters most. Although his business is what supports his family and without it they would be broke, it’s better to still be a family and have everyone survive, then to lose a father. After Zeitoun is left by himself pondering whether he made the right decision or not, Katrina begins...

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