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Carlie Sorrells
Ms. Johnson
8-28-12
English ll pre-ap
Summer Reading Assignment-Alas Babylon
Alas Babylon by Pat Frank is a literary work of art that holds important themes applicable to the present. Though the story takes place in the time of the Cold War, some of the messages are still transferable to life in the modern world. An apocalyptic world where the United States is at war with the Soviet Union is the premise of the book in which the characters are put up to the ultimate test, survival. The passage, “Survival of the fittest…the strong survive. The frail die…That’s how it is and that’s the way it’s going to be” (pg. 176) reminds society today that life changes and we as humans must adapt or die, to acclimate to our situations to come out in the best way possible, and perhaps most importantly, to learn from those who do not adapt. This is elaborated on more with the quote, “Some nations and some people melt in the heat of crisis and come apart like fat in the pan. Others meet the challenge and harden” (pg 133). Not everyone reacts the same way to problems and those who do not react responsibly and with a calm head will ultimately “melt” while those who understand the responsibilities and actions that must be carried out will “harden”, come out stronger and wiser for it. This quote rings true in many forms. When countries are at war, the leaders have different strategies for attack. They will lead the war with the ideas they think are best, even though they differ from others. The author Pat Frank included these words to show how when tragedy strikes, every person will react in their own natural response, some more strongly and wittedly than others. The main action everyone in the book attempted to accomplish was that of surviving another day and living to see tomorrow as explained with the words found on page 123, “The struggle was not against a human enemy, or for victory. The struggle, for those who survived The Day, was to survive the next”. The...
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