On The Beach Theme

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“The Pandemic of War in On the Beach” Imagine being trapped in a world where every other country and civilization is destroyed by nuclear radiation and completely uninhabitable. Australia is the only civilization left for human beings in the now radiation covered world. The people there are from all walks of life but are running out of supplies; food, water, and gasoline. On top of running out of these necessities those people are facing not only physical conflicts but also mental conflicts. The man vs man, man vs society, and man vs fate conflicts in On the Beach illuminate the theme that nuclear war, if left unchecked, will ultimately destroy the world. This can be seen by the struggle of man to survive, how the knowledge of man led to…show more content…
This conflict can be seen early in the novel because the characters in the novel are the world’s last few survivors of the first atomic war and have to figure out how to live with death unavoidable and possible at any moment (“Overview of Nevil Shute Norway”). As the last survivors in the entire world and as the only members left of humankind it 's clear how society is hard to cope with in a changing and ending world. “Overriding social issue of the novel is the end of society itself” (Beacham’s Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction 1). It’s clear how the social issues are affecting the characters in the novel and how each character reacts to the new social norms is not helping people cope with the end of the world. One of the main new norms is “The government is gives out free drugs to the general public that allows people to end their lives painlessly in a pill or injectable form to allow them to avoid the painful death of radiation poisoning” (Novels for Students 1). This new norm tears character’s morals apart because it gives people the choice to end their life before radiation dose or to end the life of a child in the case of the Holmes’ family. Mary, Peter’s wife, struggles with both the option to end lives and the approaching end of the humanity. People are planning things for the future that they know will never be fulfilled. For example Mary…show more content…
The fate of their impending death is something that everyone in the novel must be aware of. “All the characters are aware of their impending death.” (Overview of “On the Beach” 1) showing how the war started by mankind became the end of mankind and the humans left are aware that it 's man’s fault for their death. The media, mostly newspapers, had nothing to write about besides impending death that people didn’t bother to worry or read the paper. The news did not trouble her particularly; all news was bad, like wage demands, strikes, or war, and the wise person paid no attention to it.” (Shute 15). “I’m glad we haven’t got newpapers now. It’s been much nicer without them.” (Shute 15). “If what they say is right we’re none of us going to have time to do all that we planned to do. But we can keep on doing it as long as we can” (Shute 133). People must accept their fate and have to be able to realize that they will never be able to live a full

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