This novel contains no hope. To what extent is this true? Discuss.
The futuristic, catastrophic and hostile world created by Steven Amsterdam in Things We Didn’t See Coming forces the human race to reveal the emotions and characteristics that are required to survive the continual environmental calamities occurring in each short narrative. The struggles inflicted onto the people of the world distinguish the strong from the weak, brave from the cowardly and the hopeful from the realistic. The hope displayed by certain characters in this series of short narratives isn’t always advantageous, but can be the driving force that wills the floundering characters to continue to endure what is left of the diminishing environment. The characters that don’t hope in this novel seem to loose the sense of humanity, given that they do not have the full range of human emotions.
From when the narrator is ten years old, we are shown glimpses of hope through his actions and personality. After being told by his panicked father that ‘the future is a hospital, packed with sick people, packed with hurt people’ the narrator simply wants to know how to ‘prepare’ for that. This naïve courage displayed by the innocent ten year old foreshadows the determination he will show as he grows older, whilst experiencing reoccurring trauma. After meeting Margo, the narrator is forever hopeful of securing her as a long-term partner in life. He is deeply in love with her, ‘It’s like wanting her to be here becomes so strong it almost makes me forget she’s not’ but finds it hard to put his feelings into action, anticipating the probable rejection from strong-willed and decisive Margo, ‘Silently, I ask her to marry me’.
‘Wild’ Jenna and her daughter Liz, the ‘softer version’ of herself are two hopeful individuals, ‘each thinking that they’re giving their life for the other’. Liz disregards the warning from the narrator that she ‘can’t survive’ with Jenna, and appears to believe that the world...
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