Study Guide

Ship Breaker Chapter 3

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Chapter 3

  • Trying to swim but failing, Nailer realizes that he's fallen in to a reservoir of oil. Using the copper wire to guide himself to the surface, he rips off his air ventilation mask.
  • Nailer realizes that he can drown in the oil, so he tries to find something more than the wire to hang on to and locates a small pipe.
  • Trying not to panic, Nailer hangs on to the pipe, hoping a crew member will rescue him. He thinks that he's going to drown in money and recalls how a man named Lucky Strike found oil and snuck it out until he could buy himself out of servitude.
  • Sloth shows up and Nailer asks her to help him, but she stops to consider the advantages and disadvantages, only to decide not to help him and to try to keep the oil herself.
  • As Sloth disappears, she tosses Nailer water.
  • Nailer thinks he's going to die, but realizes that there might be a door at the bottom of the pool of oil. He dives to find it.

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