Children of the Dust

Topics: Nuclear weapon, Family, Civil defense Pages: 2 (756 words) Published: March 25, 2014

Word Count: 740
The post-apocalyptic novel, “Children of the Dust”, was published in 1985 by English author Louise Lawrence. The most recognisable themes in the novel are survival and adaptation: it is an undercurrent throughout the entire novel. The novel details the journey of life inside and outside of the bunker. It details the journey of the three generations of a family and their description a nuclear war. In every section a theme is explored: survival, the misuse of technology, reliving past mistakes and prejudice.

The book is split into three parts, the first detailing the life of Sarah, a young teenage girl who lives through the nuclear war with her family and what they must do to survive. It shows the struggles of a family trying to survive the nuclear fallout, how they must change how they live, the food they eat and the way they interact with each other. Sarah’s story brings to light how hard it would be to live in a world that had suffered a nuclear war and the horror that would be a constant in your life. It details how Sarah must overcome the awkward relationship with her stepmother to try and ensure her family’s survival. Sarah’s little sister, Catherine, has a very strong instinct to survive, she makes a cubby under the table, will only eat canned food and drink bottled water that had no chance of contamination. Catherine is the only family member to survive.

The second section of the book follows Ophelia’s understanding of the past, the way she deals with life in the bunker 20 years after the nuclear war and the prejudices against the people living on the outside. This part starts with a flashback showing Bill, Sarah’s father, being flagged down by a lady offering him shelter in the bunker, it’s later revealed that he marries her and has Ophelia, purely to reproduce. While Ophelia readily accepts the restrictions on her life, they are some not willing to. Dwight, a student of Bill’s, believes that General...
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