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 him arrested and he is soon thrown behind bars. Zeitoun should have evacuated New Orleans with his family for not only did he put his business in front of them, but also his shortsightedness almost left his children without a father. Zeitoun’s belongings and business items are all replaceable, but a father is not.
Zeitoun’s stubbornness blinds him from the true power of the storm for he constantly dismisses reports on how strong Hurricane Katrina is. A couple of days before the hurricane his wife decides it is time to leave. She tells him of her plans and he immediately turns her down. As his wife continues to bring up the idea of evacuating he reminds himself of past hurricane threats, “there seemed to be a half-dozen storms every August, and they were rarely worth the trouble. This