Study Guide

Ship Breaker Chapter 5

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Chapter 5

  • Pima's mother, Sadna, tells Nailer he's lucky as she cleans his wound from the rusted metal that injured him.
  • Under his breath, Nailer says he doesn't believe in Fates. Sadna admonishes him, and Nailer nods because Pima's mom is the best thing in his life.
  • Nailer's worried about infection, and so is Sadna, who tells him to keep it clean and let her know if he gets a fever.
  • As Sadna cleans up, Nailer looks out the door at the beach and the ship wrecks. His close encounter with death has made him appreciate life that much more, plus he gets some satisfaction that Sloth has been kicked off the light crew for betraying him.
  • His crew shows up and gives him some booze, which he takes; they decide to make a fire and get drunk to celebrate Nailer's survival.
  • The crew members talk about the clippers, how it's hard to sail them because of the half-men who protect them and their owners.
  • Pima says that being smart is more important than luck and tells Nailer to hide the gifts people have given him for being lucky.
  • Pima is going to outgrow light crew next year and be too small for heavy crew, which means she has few options for work. This is where luck comes in. This is why she says people need to have both smarts and luck, or they'll end up like Sloth.
  • The crew discuss what's fair versus what's reality, and wish that Pima would have better luck than they know she'll have next year.
  • Nailer heads home to his hut and finds his father home and awake, and much to his dismay, high and drunk.
  • His dad (Richard Lopez) asks what happened, and Nailer explains. When Nailer says he lost the filter mask, he realizes that he won't escape his father without a beating, and he's afraid that if this happens, he won't be able to work tomorrow and Bapi will cut him from the light crew.
  • Nailer offers the booze he got from being lucky—which is a smart move. His father takes it and waves Nailer to bed.

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