On The Wings Of This Prayer Analysis

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The Collapse: Richard Van Camp’s “On the Wings of this Prayer” and Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The People of Sand and Slag” Richard Van Camp’s “On the Wings of this Prayer” and Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The People of Sand and Slag” both describe a future utterly inhospitable to the humans of today, where the focus lies on the main source which allowed these conditions to take place: mankind. These short stories focus on evolution, artificial or natural, and the effect it has on humanity. Both authors utilize similar aspects of literature in order to carry out similar messages which lend themselves to each other’s arguments. Through the use of dialogue guiding the reader’s thoughts and anecdotes of the past, the authors are able to portray their message that…show more content…
The conversations in “On the Wings of this Prayer” are one-sided, breaking through the fourth wall and directly addressing the reader. The main character goes on to specifically ask that the “Tar Sands” be stopped, for that is what causes “cancer to our Mother,” the Earth, as it unleashes the Wheetagos (Van Camp 16). Swiftly, the short story deliberately lays blame on the Oil Sands industry, labelling it as the root of an evil world full of pollution and merciless, evil Wheetagos. Therefore, Van Camp uses the short story to spread his message that if climate change is not brought to a halt through the dismantling of the Oil Sands, Earth is likely to fare a fate where humans quickly die out. The author not only lays blame but urges the readers to take action as well, as he lets them know that “[they] can change the future” (17). As a result, the problems that the natural world faces are all directly due to humanity; either humanity takes responsibility for its actions and repairs the damages or the natural world will rebel and cleanse itself of the human disease through the use of hideous, merciless creatures—Wheetagos. Breaking the fourth wall is readily used in this short story in order to send the message that humanity plays a major role in climate change…show more content…
The dog they rescued is a particularly prominent topic, a vestige of the past civilizations. In defiance of the treacherous environment, the dog managed to survive, a feat that even Lisa, the most cold-blooded of the three main characters, could not help but be “impressed by” (Bacigalupi 61). Therefore, the dog is a symbol of hope for the reader, an animal that is in the extreme, completely out of its element, and yet capable of surviving. As a result, nature’s idea of itself is astoundingly resilient, keeping certain species alive as an attempt to return to the normal state of the world. Even after horrendous trauma the natural world is still capable of a stalwart attempt at reclaiming itself. Accordingly, it is never too late to start fixing the damages and help nature’s cause, before allowing it to escalate to such a degree where the oceans are black with pollution and there is no room left for the humans of today. Chen could not help but notice that the dog is different than them in more than just a physiological nature; “there’s something there” and it’s not a characteristic that either them or the bio-jobs are capable of (64). Subsequently, the dog has something that the evolved humans are missing, compassion. In consequence, the author portrays the idea that the dog

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