Novel Alas Babylon, written by Pat Frank

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“Some nations and some people melt in the heat of crisis and come apart like fat in a pan. Others meet the challenges and harden. I think you’re going to harden” (Frank 132). In the novel Alas Babylon, written by Pat Frank, Randy Bragg’s character changes after the tragedy of “The Day.” For example, Randy emerges as a responsible, mature, and a heroic leader.

After “The Day,” Randy sacrifices luxuries and necessities and cares for many people. Also, the new environment forces Randy to work hard instead of living off his family’s money. Money is useless and no longer valuable. These new conditions cause Randy to be more responsible. For instance, Randy says, “Easy, Peyton, honey! Easy! Stop rubbing your eyes. Keep your eyes closed” (Frank 95). Randy is giving Peyton instructions after the bomb blew up causing many bright colors in the sky. The explosion makes Peyton become blind and Randy rushes to her side to help her.

Later on, Randy realizes he must consider other needs too. Therefore, he tosses his childish and selfish ways and changes into a mature man. For example, Jim Hickey says, “No. I’ve been trying to trade for coffee myself. Can’t find any. All I hold is honey” (Frank 194). After Jim’s comment, Randy immediately thinks of Peyton and Ben’s need for honey. Even though Randy looks to trade his whiskey for coffee, he surrenders his needs to provide for the children. Jim declines the offer, but acknowledges Randy’s selfishness and donates honey to Randy.

Finally, Randy assumes authority and works carefully not to commit the same mistakes as previous leaders. Randy uses his power fairly without corruption. Eventually, Randy learns to care for the community and to persuade people into completing tasks. Caring for the community and persuading others helps Randy emerge as a heroic and effective leader. For instance, Randy says, “I had to pull my gun this morning to get Porky Logan buried. I had no authority. Now I do have authority legally” (Frank...
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