long walk to water
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Survival is a big theme in the story. The characters in the novel all struggle to find enough resources and basic elements like food and water to survive. For them, the simple act of finding enough water is a task that requires at least one family member to walk each day a great distance to gather enough water. Finding a potable source of water is a problem for every character in the novel, and their lives are built around various sources of water like ponds or rivers. Survival is also an issue in regard to food, warfare, sickness, heat, and the perils of nature. Despite their hardship, the characters maintain a level of happiness and optimism that allow them to move forward and to never lose hope.