The novel Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank is a satirical piece about the eminence of war and the resilience of humanity. The story told in this novel, in the words of Thomas Payne, “produces panics [that], in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before.” This concept is demonstrated time and time again throughout the entirety of the book. The first example of this is when the brothers meet to discuss the possibility of war. Due to Mark Bragg’s , brother to the main character Randy Bragg, panic he is able to allow the family time to prepare for what is about to come. It causes Randy to worry a great deal as well, but that is insignificant when compared to the several lives that were saved because of it. Another panic that proves to be of more use, than harm is when Randy panics over how to try and save his family, he goes above the call of duty and saves his community by having them all pool their resources and efforts to make the best of their situation. As such the community at River Road becomes the best suited to survive in perhaps the whole surrounding area. If it were not for Randy panicking and enlisting the help of others as well as warning them, none of them would have survived half as well, or perhaps even survived.
Another example of panic causing both harm and good is the panic of the masses. It is bad because thousands die just in the surrounding area due to the panic. People lose all sense of the humanity they once had and care about nothing except self preservation of themselves and their families. But that is both good and bad, as we learn some of the people do not panic and believe nothing is wrong except a temporary power outage, which causes them to create conditions in which many die due to unfit living standards for human being i.e starvation, sleeping in excrement, health problems, etc....
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