Boy Overboard Essay

826 Words Apr 1st, 2013 4 Pages
The novel Boy Overboard, written by Morris Gleitzman, is the story of a young Afghan boy named Jamal fleeing his country along with his family. Jamal and his family and friends all have a longing for freedom, equality and independence, which drives them to find a new life in Australia. This is demonstrated when they find a safe and equal environment for Bibi and her mother, when Jamal’s parents raise money for their journey, when they risk their protection with smugglers, and when Jamal and his friends survive on the boat.
Jamal’s parents wanted to settle in a place where safety and equality would be presented to the family, especially Bibi and her mother. In Afghanistan, life was not very equal when comparing boys and girls.
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They could have waited for a safer opportunity, but the longer they lingered in Afghanistan, the more their lives were on the line. As a result, they got on both a plane and a boat, each controlled by smugglers. To demonstrate this, the novel quotes: ‘we’re about to get on a plane and place our lives in the hands of criminal smugglers.’ To show that the smugglers were untrustworthy, the author writes: ‘The smugglers have abandoned us. We’re alone in the middle of the ocean, a boatful of starving wailing people and three scared soldiers.’ This is clear proof that the characters’ longing for freedom, equality and independence drove them to find a new life in Australia, despite the dangerous situation the smugglers had put them in.

Jamal and his friends show a great amount of bravery and tactical thinking on the smugglers boat – all because of their longing for freedom, equality and independence. Jamal and Bibi had to use a lot of initiative on the boat, as their parents were on another boat. Together with Rashida and Omar, they protect each other, sacrificing anything that needed to be sacrificed for the safety of themselves and each other. The smugglers aren’t trustworthy, which is proved when they ask for even more money in order to continue their journey on the boat. The author shows they’re willing to sacrifice by writing: ‘Rashida

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