A Long Walk to Water Summary

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About this sample


Words: 687 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Words: 687|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that tells the parallel stories of two Sudanese children, Salva and Nya. Set against the backdrop of the Second Sudanese Civil War, the novel explores themes of perseverance, hope, and the power of education.

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The story begins with Salva, an eleven-year-old boy from the Dinka tribe, who is forced to flee his village when it is attacked by rebel soldiers. Separated from his family and left to navigate the treacherous landscape of war-torn Sudan, Salva embarks on a long and arduous journey in search of safety. As he walks for miles through deserts and across barren landscapes, Salva is confronted with unimaginable hardships. He faces hunger, thirst, and the constant threat of violence. Through it all, however, Salva remains determined to survive and find his family.

Parallel to Salva's story is that of Nya, a young girl from the Nuer tribe. Nya's daily routine revolves around fetching water for her family. Every day, she walks for hours to a distant pond, fills her container, and carries it back home. This task is not only physically demanding but also poses a significant risk to Nya's health and education. The scarcity of clean water in her village not only affects Nya's ability to attend school but also exposes her to the risk of waterborne diseases.

As the narrative progresses, the lives of Salva and Nya intersect in a powerful and unexpected way. Salva eventually escapes Sudan and seeks refuge in the United States, where he is given the opportunity to receive an education. Inspired by his experiences, Salva establishes a non-profit organization called Water for South Sudan, dedicated to providing clean water to communities in need. Meanwhile, Nya's village becomes one of the beneficiaries of Salva's organization, transforming her life and the lives of countless others.

One of the central themes of A Long Walk to Water is the importance of education. Both Salva and Nya face immense challenges in accessing education due to the circumstances they find themselves in. Salva's education is disrupted by the war, while Nya's education is hindered by the daily burden of fetching water. Despite these obstacles, both characters recognize the transformative power of education and are determined to overcome them. Salva's journey to the United States and subsequent education empowers him to make a difference in his homeland, while Nya's access to clean water allows her to attend school regularly and envision a brighter future.

Another significant theme in the novel is the power of hope and perseverance. Salva's unwavering determination to survive and find his family in the midst of a brutal war is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. His resilience and optimism in the face of adversity serve as a source of inspiration not only to the reader but also to the characters in the story. Similarly, Nya's daily struggle to fetch water is a testament to her resilience and perseverance. Despite the hardships she faces, Nya never loses hope and continues to strive for a better life.

A Long Walk to Water also sheds light on the urgent issue of access to clean water in developing countries. The novel highlights the devastating consequences of water scarcity, particularly on women and children who are often tasked with fetching water. By intertwining Nya's story with Salva's, the author underscores the interconnectedness of global issues and the importance of collective action. Through Salva's organization, Water for South Sudan, the novel offers a glimmer of hope and shows that change is possible, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

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In conclusion, A Long Walk to Water is a compelling and emotionally charged novel that explores themes of perseverance, hope, education, and the power of collective action. Through the parallel stories of Salva and Nya, the novel offers a nuanced portrayal of the Second Sudanese Civil War and the devastating impact it had on the lives of countless individuals. Linda Sue Park's evocative storytelling and memorable characters make A Long Walk to Water a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of war, displacement, and the resilience of the human spirit.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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A Long Walk To Water Summary. (2024, March 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“A Long Walk To Water Summary.” GradesFixer, 25 Mar. 2024,
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