Zediker, Junge, Johnson, Lanning, Hell

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Zediker, Junge, Johnson, Lanning, Hell

Jadyn Zediker, Alisha Junge, Kailey Johnson, Mariah Lanning, and Lilly Hell

Mrs. Shultz

March 20, 2017

English II

Ship Breaker

In the book Ship Breaker, loyalty is a very important trait to have in life because it helps gain healthy and successful relationships. Paolo Bacigalupi tells the story of a boy that lives in poverty and struggles with an abusive father. To survive in these conditions Nailer and his friends scavenge through ships to get money to barely meet their needs. In the book many of the characters show loyalty to each other no matter what, depending on the person. Some of the characters in the book don’t end up being who you think they are. In the book the author reflects

the theme loyalty by showing the commitment between Nailer and the characters Sloth, Richard Lopez, Pima, Nita, and Tool. (Junge)

Initially, Bacigalupi sets up the theme of loyalty for the entirety of his novel by initially demonstrating disloyalty. He develops the character of Sloth and sets up her betrayal of Nailer as the basis of each of Nailer’s future decisions. When he’s making these decisions he needs to be precise and knowledgeable. The reasoning for Sloth’s actions were, because Nailer told her that she wasn't going to make it next year and she knew if he was out of the picture it would be easier for her to succeed. She decided to leave Nailer in the oil to die just to help make her life easier. She also decided to do this because she was tired of him saying that she wasn't going to make the crew next year. She also did this because she wanted his place on the crew. Sloth broke the oath of being crew, which is being loyal to your crew even through the rough times. “Thanks for nothing!” (Page 29). Her decision to leave Nailer in the oil changed his decisions throughout the book miraculously. This affected his relationships with everyone else throughout the book. (Johnson)

Although Nailer and Richard Lopez, his father, did not have the best relationship, his father had a great impact on what loyalty is to Nailer. Richard was an alcoholic so some nights he would be very unpredictable and would treat Nailer pretty harsh. “His dad had been crazy and destructive and if he was honest, downright evil.” (25.3-5). He would either scream, abuse him, or say things to bring him down. Since Lopez treated Nailer so poorly, Nailer learned what loyalty is and how you should really treat others. He realized that loyalty is needed where they lived. You need to depend on others in certain situations, such as depending on someone to find food for the town or build a house. Without loyalty, life would be a lot harder to live in since you don’t have anyone to depend on but yourselves. If his father was never as hard on him as he was, he might not have such an impact on loyalty as he does now. Towards the end of the book, Richard eased up a little bit and wasn’t so hard on Nailer and actually started depending on each other. Everything happens for a reason, and Richard being hard on Nailer taught him what loyalty is and how you should treat others. (Zediker)

Also, in this book Nailer is one of the most loyal characters. He is especially loyal to Pima. Not only because they are crew and took an oath, but because they are best friends. When the big storm hits and almost destroys everything in its path, Pima helps Nailer find shelter for the both of them. Nailer shows his loyalty to Pima is by sharing a shelter during a huge storm. Instead of having a shelter to himself with room he shares with her to keep them safe. Pima tries to attack Richard, Nailer’s father, to save Nailer and Nita. The time when Nita, Pima, and Nailer were captured by Richard, Nailer kills Blue Eyes to keep Pima alive. After they were captured by Richard Lopez, Nailer could have left Pima to die but he killed Blue Eyes to save her. "My dad will never forget this. No matter what anyone says, he'll never forget." (14.113). Nailer shows his loyalty to Pima by having the ability to be able to kill and suffer to save her. (Hell)

Another great example of loyalty in this book is the relationship between Nailer and Nita. Like most relationships they start off rocky especially theirs. One day in the book there was a big storm the night before so Nailer and his very good friend Pima went “scavenging” while doing this they ran into a big ship that they knew they would find expensive things to sell to this guy to get money for it. While looking around inside in ship they find silver plates, gold jewelry, and plenty of other things that they could make big amounts off of. While going through one of the rooms Nailer and Pima saw something that would sell for more money than everything they have already. They saw a ring on a girl’s finger that they figured was dead. They tried to pry it off but it would not come so Pima suggested cutting her finger off. While they were in the process of this Nailer swore that he saw this girl move so they decided to move all of the remains of other objects and they ended up finding a beautiful girl that ended up being a very good friend to Nailer. When they found out that she was alive Pima still wanted to cut off finger and leave the girl named Nita for dead but Nailer talks her out of it because Nita tells them that she is worth more alive. As the story travels on Nailer and Nita slowly become closer and closer. Nailer and Nita show their loyalty to each other in one part of the book Nailer stands up to his dad to protect Nita rom his dad's crew. The situation between Nita, Nailer, and Richard Lopez increasingly becomes worse. In a part of the book Richard Lopez had the chance to sell Nita to the captures in order to become rich. When Nailer killed Blue Eyes in order to save his friends he said: “My Dad will never forget this. No matter what anyone says, he’ll never forget.” (14.113). In conclusion, Nailer showed Nita loyalty by betraying his own blood, crew, and home to save Nita. (Junge)

Finally, Tool, like Sloth, is another example of loyalty. He was created to be forever loyal to his master, even to the point of dying with him, but chooses not to be loyal to the death as his breed is meant to be. Tool takes loyalty into his own hands, choosing who and who not to be loyal to as he deems justified by his moral code. Tool is only loyal to whom he wants to be; when he wants to be. Tool had been attacked by the half- men and Nita and Nailer wanted to help him. Nita then decided to pull away to keep them both alive. She had said that if Tool was in the same situation he would agree with what she had been saying. “I’m sorry," Nita said. "I didn't want to leave him, either. “Nailer gave her a withering look. "He was helping us." "There are some fights you can't win." She looked away. (18.93-95). Tool had been designed to win all his battles. He didn't desert them throughout the whole battle. He stuck with them until he had no power left in him. Tool has been a very loyal character throughout this book. (Lanning)

In conclusion, Nailer is the epitome of loyalty in Ship Breaker. His loyalty is shown throughout the book. Nailer’s loyalty is strong between the characters, the other characters also show loyalty not only to Nailer but to the other characters also even if they didn’t want to admit it. They showed their loyalty in many ways, one of the strongest ways they showed loyalty is by constantly helping to save each other's lives. The characters put themselves in danger in order to help the other to get out of it. (Hell, Junge)
Work Cited

Bacigalupi, Paolo. Ship Breaker: [a Novel]. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2010.

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