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Alas, Babylon Essay

In the book Alas, Babylon, the author, Pat Frank, discusses the condition of the human race. Mainly, his view differs from others because rather than write about the countries in a nuclear war, he writes about people living in the countries that are involved in that war. His discusses these peoples? progress, both technological and moral, as well as their use of power. These topics make the book as intriguing as it is to read.

Frank, rather than talk about all mankind?s technological advances, talks about how they have hindered man. He says that we have become dependant on these discoveries. He shows this when Dan Gunn and Mark take turns telling Randy all these things that he has, such as a nice car and a refrigerator, are useless when nuclear fallout occurs. It seems that man cannot function for even one minute without using things that were not even available fifty or one hundred years ago. Frank is warning us that there may be a time when we will need to retain the lifestyle of the nineteenth century, and only the people who have the knowledge of this way of life will be fine.

Frank has an interesting view on the way man has progressed morally. I think that he says that we don?t really know our morals until we have them truly questioned. In this he implies that the people who have strong morals, not only will stay true to them, but will survive. An example of this is Randy Bragg. Randy, on the day of nuclear fallout, stopped on the side of the road to help a woman. This shows that he has respect for the human race as a whole. The opposite of this was Edgar Quisenbury. Edgar valued nothing but money. In the end, the absence of money caused Edgar to become an example of Darwin?s "Only the strong" theory as he shot himself.

Power is addressed in the book as something that Americans do not take seriously. The use of this power is not shown so much as who is in power. I will use three examples of this. Bubbah Offenhouse was in charge of making everyone aware of what to do in case of fallout. However, he chose not to even hand out information on this because he didn?t want to think about it. Porky Logan was another person that was in power, despite having only an elementary education. Randy, however, was not put in power, yet he is the one who becomes a true leader in the face of war.

I think that Pat Frank says that the current human condition is reliant on things that do not hold true moral value. I agree. Humans have a fascination with material possessions that might only be stopped under nuclear war. In any case, that is probably the last philosophy that I would ever like to be proven.

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