Dark were the Tunnels

Topics: Short story, Human, Apocalypse Pages: 3 (1007 words) Published: April 12, 2014

Apocalypse Now and Then
Word Count: 993
A Change in Humanity
George R. R. Martin’s short story, “Dark, Dark Were The Tunnels,” is one of the pieces included in John Joseph Adams compilation of apocalyptic short stories titled Wastelands: stories of the apocalypse. This story is not a traditional story of the apocalypse; it is not about humanity’s struggle to survive immediately after an apocalyptic event, in a changed environment. Nor is it a story about how humans are affected emotionally and struggle to live day to day. Instead this is a story about how humanity has already passed its struggle and has adapted to its new world so that people may easily live and build a civilization in their changed environment. Greel, the protagonist for the first half of this story, is a member of a portion of the human population that burrowed underground in order to escape the apocalyptic wasteland of the surface of the earth. There is, however, another group of humans who escaped to a place called Luna in order to survive the apocalypse. When two men from Luna venture in to the tunnels to look for any sign of survivors, they see Greel. The people of Luna are virtually unchanged by the apocalypse. However, the tunnel people have adapted to their new environment, with large photosensitive eyes, pale skin, long limbs and telepathic abilities. The explorers are shocked and disgusted by Greel’s appearance because he no longer looks like they do; in their eyes he is no longer a human being. “The creature in the pool of light was small, barely over four feet. Small and sickening. There was something vaguely manlike about it, but the proportions of the limbs were all wrong, and the hands and feet were grotesquely malformed. And the skin, the skin was a sickly, maggoty white.” (Adams 97). The theme of this story is the how differences between two groups of people can result in problems between the two groups. This story’s strengths are first that you get to see the same event...

Cited: Adams, John Joseph. Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. San Francisco: Nightshade Book, 2008. Print.
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