Alas, Babylon Study Guide

Alas, Babylon Study Guide

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Alas, Babylon

“Alas, Babylon” was written by Pat Frank in 1959 and it became a bestseller almost immediately. As Tolkien for the fantasy genre or Orwell for the future dystopian books, Pat Frank became a “grandfather” of all postapocalyptic fiction. “Alas, Babylon” shows us the bleak future after the nuclear war that devastated the world. The small town in the middle of nowhere named Fort Reposte struggles to survive in this horrifying new world, where the values of old age mean nothing. The sheer horror of the destruction caused by humanity is only the shadow of the real horror - the horror of the changes in the souls and minds of humanity brought to the brink of survival.

But the story doesn’t start that grim. The town of Fort Reposte is shown quiet but prosperous Everytown, Florida, and our protagonist, the young man named Randy Bragg lives a careless, though yet senseless life, with countless possibilities before him. Everything changes when he receives a telegram from his brother serving in the military. The telegram ends with the words from the Bible: “Alas, Babylon” that are the secret code established between the brothers. These words mean that the ultimate disaster is coming…

The chaos that engulfs the whole country is depicted extremely graphically. There are no heroes and no villains: everyone is just trying to survive the dangers of war. Lots of horrible things that happen are just the result of overall mess and disorder, not the malevolent intentions of some enemies.

For the modern readers, who are already used to the luxurious choice of the post-apocalyptic novels, “Alas, Babylon” can seem somewhat naive and simple, but still, we have to remember that it was the first. The book is definitely worth reading, not only because of the setting that takes place during and after the nuclear war, but because of the vividly portrayed psychological shifts in the minds of the people in the direst of situation. We see how the morals and relationship try to withstand the primal desire to survive at any cost - and until the very end we don’t know is there still any hope for Fort Reposte.

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Alas, Babylon Quotes with Page Number

“I love you. I worry about you. I wonder whether I tell you enough how I love you and want you and need you and how I am diminished . . . when you are not with me and how I am multiplied when you are here.” — Page 86 — “If Man retained faith in God, he might also retain faith in Man.” — — “'Legs...

Alas Babylon Mapping

Every building still stood, no brick had been displaced, yet all was altered, especially the people. ' How does society build walls to ensure no one sees their human sides? Define the human condition. It was strange, she thought, peddling steadily, that it should require a holocaust to make...

Alas Babylon Annotated Reading

From that statement on, the story develops into an exploration of the harsh realities of a nuclear attack on the United States. Beginning with the preparations made by the few who are aware of what is to come and the limited number of people they permit themselves to alert, Frank keeps the...

Alas Babylon

After threatening many times, the Soviet Union has nuclear bombed the United States, but what exactly does that mean? First of all, nuclear power is an electric or motive power generated by a nuclear reactor. Nuclear power has the ability to generate electricity for a whole population, or when...

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