April 16, 2012

There was a pause, and then she said angrily, “It’s not that I’m afraid of dying, Dwight. We’ve all got to do that some time. It’s all the things I’m going to miss…” […] I wouldn’t know if Paris got a bomb or not. Maybe it’s all there still just as it was, with the sun shining down the street the way you’d want to see it. That’s the way I like to think about that sort of place. It’s just that folks don’t live there any more.” (41)

This passage in the book made me think of the world in the novel as being like the ancient world. The characters have no way of knowing what exactly is going on the rest world as there’s no way of communicating with the world. They can only know about the world that they can see, the only form of feasible reality. Every other place is accessible through imagination, as Captain Towers does, or through difficult travel, which the navy does and is not open to the whole population. Also, the technology of the new world, especially cars, have been rendered unusable due to the loss of fuel, casing the population to rely on older modes of transport, such as bullock cart, making the world quite literally like the ancient world. This situation of the new world is made further pessimistic as it is not the way the world was from the beginning of time, but the characters have known much of the world and then it has been taken away from them. This results in them feeling like they are missing a part of their lives, as opposed to the innocent unawareness that was the ancient world.

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