On The Beach By Nevil Shute

1373 WordsOct 29, 20156 Pages
In Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach, the world is quickly and quietly ending. The novel follows the last months of the lives of the last people on Earth as a cloud of radiation moves closer to their homes in Melbourne. The characters each cope with their inevitable demise in a different way: Moira Davidson resorts to alcoholism, Dwight Towers is in denial, John Osbourne indulges in material goods, and Peter Holmes tries to make the most of the time he has left with his family. Despite their dissimilar coping strategies and the horror of the situation, however, not a single character does a thing to save themselves or their families. No one theorizes a way to beat the radiation, no one devises a last-minute escape plan, and no one tries to keep humanity from going extinct. In his article, Tom Feller asserts that whether it is truly a realistic portrayal of humanity’s reaction to the apocalypse isn’t the point; instead, Shute’s portrayal of the end times as calm and docile is what gives the novel such forcefulness and emotion. Feller’s claim that the novel’s potency comes from Shute’s detached voice and unimaginative characters is proven by the characters’ reluctance to react to their fates, the sparse description, and the reserved tone of the book overall. First of all, Shute refrains from inserting his own political opinion or ideas on the demise of humanity, which allows more room for the readers to come to their own conclusions instead of having the author’s ideas

More about On The Beach By Nevil Shute

Open Document