Alas, Babylon

What is the universal meaning of this book?


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I think that humans are capable of destroying each other on big and small scales THe same humanity that can destroy each other can also be resilient and help each other. We, humans, are a paradox of both destruction and creation.

Survival is possible only by preparation and adaptation. This theme is very evident in the text. The larger cities that surround Fort Repose were bombed in the novel; those cities naturally have more supplies than small towns. “The place we should have built up stockpiles was out in the country, like Timucuan County. Stockpiles weren’t going to be of much use in the cities because after "The Day" there weren’t going to be any cities left. But where were the stockpiles? In the cities, of course. It was easier” (Frank 165). Randy was the only one in his town that knew the bombing was inevitable, for he was the only one who had bought an abundance of food. Randy then helps to create a bartering system in the town which shows adaptation.

In the end, the U.S. eventually wins the Cold War against Russia, but at what cost? The nuclear war devastates so many American resources that third world countries are lending a hand in rebuilding the country. The only towns that still have uninterrupted electrical power are the ones served by hydroelectric plants, provided the plants were undamaged and the aqueducts intact. “We won it. We really clobbered ‘em… Not that it matters” (Frank 254).


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