Losing Faith in Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun
Natural disasters affect many individuals throughout the world. One natural disaster that was known to affect the lives of thousands of Americans is Hurricane Katrina. One particular person affected by this hurricane is a man named Abdulrahman Zeitoun, who ventured through the destructed city of New Orleans helping those in need, while experiencing the malevolent actions placed upon him. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is an individual that underwent an enormous change as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Abdulrahman’s faith was being tested. After the hurricane, Zeitoun experienced many unfortunate events throughout New Orleans and was accused of looting and suspected of being a terrorist taking advantage of the anarchy New Orleans was in. Zeitoun thought he was doing “[God’s] work” (Eggers 262) by staying in the destructed city and helping those in need, explained in Dave Eggers’ book, Zeitoun. How could a man continue to believe in his faith in God when things he thought were right brought misfortune to him? Zeitoun started to doubt his religion, his God. A change which he experienced due to the results of Katrina.
The love towards Abdulrahman’s wife, Kathy Zeitoun, diminished as a result of the hurricane. As stated in Naomi Martin’s article of the trial between Kathy and Abdulrahman, Kathy Zeitoun was considered as his “ex-wife”, indicating the bond between husband and wife was no more. The separation between the couple could also be considered as Abdulrahman’s disbelief in his faith, since he believed the things God hated most were “murder, divorce, and waste” (Eggers 48).
The divorce with Kathy showed Abdulrahman’s faith in his religion slowly fading. One of my classmates shared the fact that “Zeitoun was such a God fearing man” within Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun, no one would have guessed divorce was an outcome. My classmate, Andrea Brunner’s, response towards the change Abdulrahman experienced “was not a surprise” for her since she believes “people can change and we can never ge to know others very well”. Even with Eggers’ book there are slight changes of Abdulrahman’s character, so it should not be much of a surprise if it continues after the events of Katrina’s aftermath.
The results of Hurricane Katrina brought a heavy toll on Abdulrahman’s mind and body. He experienced a excruciating pain on his side, which continue to grow each day he spent in New Orleans. Abdulrahman “had lost [his] perspective” (Eggers 262), since the pain he experienced was considered a punishment from God for staying in Orleans, for not listening to those that warned him of the impending doom.
As a strong believer towards his religion, Abdulrahman thought he was doing what God intended by staying, but instead was punished for what he thought was right. During his time in New Orleans Abdulrahman was confine within a makeshift prison cell, evaluating his life, beliefs, and prideful nature. At this moment in Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun Abdulrahman accepts his predicament, God has abandoned him.Wounded within a cage, like a wild animal. Abdulrahman knew his current “environment would drive any sane man mad” (Eggers 264) indicating that his mind is developing for the worst.
Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a person who underwent an enormous change as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The confusion and detachment of his own faith, the marriage between him and Kathy, and the heavy toll Katrina had placed on Abdulrahman presented an enormous change on him. The downfall of Zeitoun shows how people can change at any moment throughout life and the hardship one experience can alter the individual’s perspective completely.