Alan Gratz’s “Refugee” is a book where power is switched between characters a lot and is sometimes misused. In this blog post, I will be talking about how power is switched between characters, and about how some people in the story use it the wrong way.
In Isabel’s story, Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator, starts out with the power, but later on, gives the Cuban residents the chance to leave. When Isabel and her family heard this, they took the opportunity and tagged along with the Castillos. In the brief few peaceful minutes they had after escaping Fidel Castro and his abuse of power, they felt very powerful because they had done what, just a couple hours earlier, had seemed impossible. But soon after that, the storm took the power from them. After surpassing that challenge, they felt powerful, but then the tanker started to steal the power from them, and finally, the Coast Guard took then power from them because it was about to capture them. They then lost and gained power at the same time because they were going to make it to Miami, but at the same time, Lito wouldn’t be with them.
In Josef’s story, Hitler and the Nazi’s held the power, but when Josef and his family heard the news that their father was coming back, they felt powerful. This ended soon though because when they saw him, they realized he had turned into a crazy lunatic who believed that Hitler was always coming to hurt him. When they got on the ship, felt pretty depressed and powerless because of Josef’s father’s distraught situation. But once they set sail to Cuba, they started to regain some power because they thought they would never have to face Hitler’s wraith again. They felt like this until Josef’s mother took the sleeping med and Josef’s father attempted suicide. They lost most of their power then, but when Captain Schroeder announced they wouldn’t be docking in Cuba, they lost all power whatsoever. But when Josef and the other men broke into the ship’s bridge, they got some power back. But when the group retreated, they lost some of the power they had gained. But when France accepted Josef and his family, they felt massively powerful. Fast forward a couple months, they lose a lot of their power because Hitler invaded France.
In Mahmoud’s story, The Syrian government starts out with the power, and when Mahmoud’s building gets destroyed, he loses a huge portion of his power. But when they escape with the car, they gain a little bit of power. And when they meet the soldiers and realize they’re good guys, they gain a lot more power. But when they started to get shot at in the car, they lost a lot of power because they had just lost everything. But when Mahmoud’s Dad gets the iPhone back, they get a little bit of their power back. And when they get to Turkey and start waiting for the boat, they gain even more power. But when the boat doesn’t come, they lose some of their power. And finally, when they do get on the boat and it crashes, they lose all their power. But when the Coast Guard appears and they see Waleed and Mahmoud’s dad on it, they regain some power, but not a lot because they had to give away Hana during the time when they were treading water. Then when they get to Greece and the Taxi Driver threatens to shoot them, they lose a lot of power. And when they finally get to the border, but get caught and get sent to prison, they lose a lot of power. But when they see Waleed and Mahmoud’s mom, they regain some power.